TNSCB begins sealing houses at Sengulam

Officials of the TN Slum Clearence Board sealing a house at Sengulam Colonyin Tiruchi on Saturday. PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM.

Officials of the TN Slum Clearence Board sealing a house at Sengulam Colonyin Tiruchi on Saturday. PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM.   | Photo Credit: R_M_RAJARATHINAM


A team of officials carry out the task amidst tight security

Nearly 18 months after serving notice to residents of 50-year-old tenements to vacate to pave the way for constructing new tenements at the same site, officials of Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) on Saturday began sealing the houses at Sengulam Colony at Palakarai in the city on Saturday.

The tenements house a large number of families, most of them conservancy workers of Tiruchirappalli City Corporation.

TNSCB, Revenue Department, and Corporation officials launched the drive amidst tight security with personnel from the Tamil Nadu Special Police, City Police, Fire and Service Personnel units and Vajra, a riot control vehicle.

The exercise was preceded by a visit by Collector Jayashree Muralidharan to the tenements on Thursday, who took stock of the condition of them before giving clearance for the drive.

The officials visited the houses of allottees, who were given fresh allotment orders, to take custody of the houses. However, the officials faced stiff resistance from some of the dwellers.

While a few agreed to vacate the houses, a majority of them refused to do so. Some of them demanded one to two weeks time to vacate citing various reasons.

As the time progressed, opposition to the drive grew stronger.

Slogan shouting

The residents joined in groups to shout slogans against the officials and maintained that they would never vacate the houses.

But, in spite of resistance, the officials managed to clear about 10 houses and subsequently, they were all sealed by the revenue authorities.

However, the officials slowed down the drive because of angry protest by the residents in the afternoon.

S. Suresh, Executive Engineer, TNSCB, told The Hindu that the drive was launched only after giving sufficient time to vacate the houses.

Moreover, the officials personally informed the residents on the proposed drive.

The TNSCB took the decision to rebuild the tenements at the same site after demolishing the existing structures, which were built in 1964. Many of the houses were in bad condition. They were declared unsafe to live.

The State government had announced in 2013 that new tenements would be built for the same beneficiaries at a cost of Rs. 45 crore in Sengulam colony.

Six hundred and seventy families were living in the colony. Of them, 280 were living on encroached areas near the tenements.

Most of them, including encroachers, were given allotment orders for new houses in the proposed structure. They would have to live elsewhere only during the construction period.

About Rs. 8,000 had been given to those who agreed to move out to help them meet the expenditure, Mr. Suresh added.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:24:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tnscb-begins-sealing-houses-at-sengulam/article6580302.ece

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