35-yr-old TNHB flats get swanky makeover

TNHB’s four apartment complexes in Rajaram Colony were built in 1979. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam   | Photo Credit: B_JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Wide roads lined with avenue trees guide people to a cluster of four apartment complexes built by Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), in Rajaram Colony, Kodambakkam.

Unlike most apartment complexes in the city, where owners rarely speak in one voice, 24 families here have come together to demolish and rebuild their 35-year-old flats.

In the process, they are now happy owners of swanky and spacious triple-bedroom flats.

In 1979, TNHB constructed four apartment complexes — 24 flats in blocks A, B and C, and 16 in D.

Over the years, with the level of the road rising due to repeated re-laying of the surface, rainwater contaminated with sewage entered the complex making it miserable for the families, especially those on the ground floor. “It was in 2008 we decided to rebuild our flats,” says R. Harikrishnan, secretary of Block C.

But convincing all the flat owners was not an easy task. “It took three years to convince just a couple of owners and they finally agreed in 2012,” he says.

Meanwhile, the 16 flats in Block D were rebuilt and that strengthened their resolve. Once they had everybody’s consent, they spent the next year doing the rounds of government offices — TNHB, the Chennai Corporation, registration and revenue departments and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority — to get necessary approvals and no-objection certificates (NOC).

They handed over the land, measuring a little less than six grounds, to Kavithaalaya Promoters in March 2013, and took possession of their new flats a few months ago. The earlier double-bedroom flats, measuring 655 sq. ft., have been rebuilt into triple-bedroom apartments measuring 1,610 sq. ft. each.

Based on prevailing guideline value, new flats of this size are valued at nothing less than Rs. 60 lakh, and the owners spent just about one-third of the amount on rebuilding them.

But delay in arriving at a consensus and procedural delays cost them an additional Rs. 5 lakh, they say.

The remodelling has now spurred residents of Block B to go in for rebuilding of their flats. “We have completed the first step by getting NOC from TNHB,” says S. Ramalingam of Block B.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 8:22:05 AM |

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