Sealing drive evokes strong opposition


The sealing of houses evoked strong opposition from the residents of Sengulam colony.

Soon after Revenue and Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) officials reached the spot, a large number of residents thronged the area and staged a protest. Some of them literally prevented the officials from sealing their houses.

“I am living in the area since 1952. On efforts of Communist leader M. Kalyanasundaram, the then Chief Minister K. Kamaraj gave permission to the municipal conservancy workers to live in the huts. They were converted into tenements in 1964. I cannot think of leaving my beloved house. We were not given sufficient time to vacate the houses. Moreover, there is no guarantee that we will be given a house again,” says K. Palani (69), a retired worker of Tiruchirappalli City Corporation.

While echoing his sentiments, many of the residents say that it is unfair to ask them to vacate from the locality where they were living for more than four generations. Some of them said that it was extremely difficult to find rental houses for them. “Wherever we search for rental houses, we will be asked about our profession /occupation. If we say that we are conservancy workers, we will never get rental houses. The authorities should keep that aspect in mind before compelling us to vacate,” says P. Dhanalakshmi.

A few them alleged that officials tactfully got signatures of some residents by distributing Rs.8000 just days before Deepavali. Now they had realised the mistake and they were ready to repay the amount. Some of them were of the view that only a few houses were unfit for living and many were in good condition. There is no real reason to rebuild the tenements, they contended.

Mr. Palani added that they had submitted 10-point demand to the authorities. If they really wanted to build new houses, it should be conducted in a phased manner so that residents could vacate their houses block by block.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 1:30:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/sealing-drive-evokes-strong-opposition/article6580304.ece

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