J. Malarvizhi

Encroachers take over approved roads cutting off access to the public

CHENNAI: The Ambattur municipality is going easy on encroachers, allege representatives of residents' associations. Residents say encroachers have taken over approved roads cutting off access to the public in Chandrasekarapuram and Lenin Nagar.

The Lenin Nagar Welfare Association has secured a court stay on the construction of the underground drainage system in Manalodai Street, as it was being laid through private lands under litigation.

The road had been encroached upon around seven years ago and successive administrations had done nothing about it. This had led to the drainage lines being laid to accommodate encroachments. The association has acquired a stay on such construction with the court ordering the municipality to lay the lines according to the approved plan. There has been no such respite for the remaining residents in Chandrasekarapuram's Fourth Main Road.

The case against the municipality to remove encroachers on the proposed 40 feet road linking Ambattur and Patravakkam Railway stations is on in court. It was alleged that the municipality failed to act on a previous court order on the issue. Sources said that encroachers, mostly municipality workers, began taking over the space for the road more than a decade ago. The road is now only ten feet wide.

Legal residents were harassed and driven out by various means, they said. Access to drinking water pipes and drains was cut off and windowpanes frequently broken because of stone throwing and some residents were manhandled at the behest of the local kattapanchayat leaders. It is alleged that the encroachers had all amenities provided. The construction of a public convenience on the approved road was stayed after the residents' association filed a case.

Residents expressed the hope that with the change of political guard, local representatives would take an interest in reviving the plans to lay the link road.