Corporation suspends eviction drive at Jeeva Nagar

Coimbatore Corporation workers demolishing encroachments at Jeeva Nagar in the city on Tuesday.

Coimbatore Corporation workers demolishing encroachments at Jeeva Nagar in the city on Tuesday.  

Residents led by former CPI councillor and representatives of a few other outfits stall the demolition of 120-odd houses

Coimbatore Corporation yet again aborted an attempt to demolish encroached houses in Jeeva Nagar, off Mettupalayam Road near Saibaba Colony, on Tuesday.

The Corporation began the drive around 9.30 a.m. to demolish the 120-odd houses it could not demolish in the last eviction drive conducted a fortnight ago. It moved in with six earth movers, a few dozen men and sent its Town Planning Wing officials to supervise the operations.

A team of police personnel from the Saibaba Colony and Thudiyalur police stations accompanied the Corporation team.

Soon after the Corporation’s vehicles began demolishing a few houses, the residents led by a former Corporation Councillor, K. Purushothaman, from the Communist Party of India and representatives of a few other outfits opposed the eviction drive.

Minister approached

Mr. Purushothaman later told The Hindu that the Corporation had timed the eviction on Tuesday after having got wind of the fact that the residents had again moved the Supreme Court for relief. And, the civic body sent the vehicles for demolition two days after the residents had approached Municipal Administration and Water Supply Minister S.P. Velumani for relief.

He claimed that the Minister had assured the residents of relief from demolition and promised to arrange for a meeting in Collector's presence.

As the former Councillor asked the residents to resist the demolition drive by getting into their houses, the police removed him and leaders of other outfits and took them to the Saibaba Colony police station.

The Corporation then resumed the demolition drive even as residents hurriedly moved their possessions outside to a safe place.

A resident, A. Pandiamma, said the Corporation’s eviction drive had caught them unawares and had she got information, she would have moved her things out.

She also complained that though she had paid the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, the latter was yet to give her a ‘token’, an acknowledgement for being eligible for a flat.

K. Sarojini alleged that representatives of the political parties that were taking up their cause had asked them to adopt a wait and watch approach and not take the token the Board issued to residents to allot flats in its apartments in Keeranatham.

The political representatives had also told them that if they were to take the tokens, the Board would immediately demolish their houses, she said and added that her husband and she decided to wait also because they were not keen on moving to flats, given their knee pain. Two hours later, representatives from the CPI, VCK and a few other organisations urged the Town Planning Wing officials to stop the demolition by claiming that their petition to the Supreme Court seeking relief had been ‘numbered’ and that the Corporation should wait.

The Town Planning Wing officials, however, said they were suspending the operations to give time to the remaining residents to remove their household goods and would return soon to complete the drive, as ordered by the Court on a contempt petition.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 9:31:10 PM |

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