Staff Reporter

The 72-cent land was meant for establishing a public utility

TIRUNELVELI: Backed by police personnel and armed with heavy equipment, a team of corporation officials removed eight illegal constructions on 72 cents of land, assigned for public utility when approval was given for the layout, at Zail Singh Nagar in Palayamkottai on Saturday.

Corporation sources said that though the land had been earmarked for public utility (either for a park or playground), a group of people had constructed houses on the land about 15 years ago. The civic body’s efforts to remove the illegal structures met with a temporary hurdle as the residents approached the court, which ultimately gave its verdict in favour of the Corporation on August 21.

On the copy of the verdict reaching here on September 1, corporation officials led by Commissioner K. Baskaran, City Engineer Jai Xavier and Executive Engineer Narayanan Nair came to the spot on Saturday morning with three heavy equipment and six lorries.

A police team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhinav Kumar provided protective cover.

Altercation

While some of the residents picked up altercation with the corporation officials in a bid to prevent them from beginning the removal of encroachments, the heavy equipment were parked close to the houses, forcing the residents to remove their properties to safer places. With the women and the children lamenting inconsolably, the illegal structures were brought down within a few minutes.

“We are living here for the past 20 years and paying taxes to the corporation. We’ve got electricity connection and holding ration cards. But the corporation has demolished our homes, leaving us on the streets,” wailed the affected.

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