Madurai

With hopes of owning land, hundreds throng TNHB office

Tamil Nadu Housing Board office in Madurai witnessed a huge turnout of people to submit application for plots on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK

With Tuesday being the last day to buy applications for allocation of plots near the Uchapatti - Thoppur Satellite Town being developed by Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), hundreds thronged its office in Ellis Nagar with the hope of owning a piece of land.

As the demand soared, middlemen sold applications priced at ₹ 100 for up to ₹ 500 within the TNHB campus. Officials in TNHB said that roughly 54,000 applications were sold till 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Traffic in front of the TNHB office was affected as large number of people were seen waiting even at 2 p.m. when the sale of applications was closed.

Though applications were being sold since December 19, 2018, officials said that the sales peaked only in the last few days. While Wednesday is the last day for submitting filled applications, only 5,000 applications had been submitted till Monday, they added.

TNHB had called for applications for allocation of 1,121 plots near the Uchapatti - Thoppur Satellite Town, each measuring a size of 40 square metre. The cost of the plots, located in four different spots, is fixed between ₹ 1,00,500 to ₹ 1,41,500.

The beneficiaries will be chosen through a lot to be conducted before March 31, 2019. “The allocation of plots inside the Uchapatti - Thoppur Satellite Town has not begun yet. This is only for areas being developed near the satellite town,” said S. Pandiaraja, Executive Engineer, Uchapatti - Thoppur Satellite Town Division, TNHB.

V. Castro, a tailor from Vandiyur, who came to buy application, said that he got to know through a friend on Tuesday morning. “I left all my work and came immediately,” he said. Though an advertisement was issued last month in a newspaper, officials acknowledged that most people had come through word of mouth.

Many women were seen waiting with their infants in the queue. S. Malathi, one such woman, who had come from Aruldosspuram, said that she came because her neighbours said there was high probability of getting a plot.

Many middlemen were seen brazenly selling applications for ₹ 500. Few men who offered to fill applications for ₹ 50 were also in high demand. TNHB had allowed each person standing in the queue to buy up to four applications. “We were initially selling one application per person. However, many started demanding that they needed for their relatives. Hence, we capped the number at four,” an official said.

This resulted in many persons, who bought four applications, keeping one for themselves while selling the remaining for ₹ 200 to ₹ 300. “We knew these were happening. But we could not control it due to the high demand,” a senior TNHB official said.

R.M. Pandian from Simmakkal, who waited in the queue for three hours to get the application, expressed hope that the lot will be conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 9:28:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/with-hopes-of-owning-land-hundreds-throng-tnhb-office/article26061555.ece

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