Pressure from district administration on the owners to shift workshops at the earliest
Sustained pressure from the district administration has forced at least some of the 477 automobile workshop owners in Old Bypass Road, Vellore, to start work on the construction of sheds on the land registered against their names in Autonagar.
It is a 32.5-acre site, jointly purchased by the members of the Motor Vahana Anaithu Panimanai Urimayalargal Sangam (All Automobile Workshop Owners Association), Old Bypass Road, Vellore, for shifting their workshops to the outskirts.
At a recent meeting of the District Traffic Advisory Committee, Vellore Collector C. Rajendran asked the workshop owners to shift their workshops at the earliest to Autonagar in order to relieve traffic congestion.
The need for shifting the workshops located on Old Bypass Road to the outskirts has been felt for the last 25 years in view of the encroachments on both sides of the road.
Workshop owners carry out repairs of vehicles, causing traffic bottlenecks on this road, which connects Bangalore Road and Katpadi Road. The situation had become worse, with three lorries being parked side by side on both sides of the road.
Later, the road was widened and re-laid, but encroachment by workshops continues, but to a lesser extent. Following pressure from the district administration, the workshop owners formed the association in 1985. A proposal was initiated to create an Autonagar (an automobile workshop complex) in 1992. A 32.5-acre site was identified in Perumugai village, facing the Krishnagiri-Chennai National Highway, about 10 km east of Vellore from, and was named as Autonagar.
K. Manickam, president of the Motor Vahana Anaithu Panimanai Urimayalargal Sangam, said that the association decided to buy the land in the name of the members, and small pieces of land were purchased from landowners in the identified site in Perumugai. The approval of the Directorate of Town and Country Planning was obtained in 2006. Lands (purchased by individual workshop owners based on their requirements) were registered in the name of the workshop owners in 2007. While the association had 1,112 members, only 496 paid the money for the land, and of them only 477 got their land registered. “We are taking steps to get the land of the remaining 19 persons also registered in their names”, he said.
Lack of resources
The association president said that though the district administration, under successive District Collectors, have been asking us to shift the workshops quickly to Autonagar, the members have been delaying the construction of the workshops since they lacked the resources. Thanks to the initiative taken by Collector C. Rajendran, about 40 workshop owners have started constructing sheds on the land purchased by them.
The association has requested the Collector to talk to banks and arrange for loans to the individual members at a low interest to enable the remaining plot owners to avail loans and commence construction of sheds.
It also requested the Collector to urge the Perumugai village panchayat to complete the remaining work on the laying of roads inside Autonagar (it has already completed 50% of the road work).
The association also sought drinking water and drainage facilities and power connection to motivate the remaining plot owners to start work on constructing sheds.
“We have issued notices to all our members asking them to shift their workshops immediately. We will have Autonagar inaugurated by the Collector next month with whatever sheds that are ready by that time,” said Mr. Manickam.
The notice issued by the association to its members says that the association will not be responsible for any action that might be taken by the district administration for their failure to shift to Autonagar.
“The government machinery has already provided infrastructure, including roads and drainage, to the tune of Rs.1 crore in Autonagar. We will provide all the infrastructure facilities which the workshop owners want”, the Collector told TheHindu.