Infrastructure

TNSCB tenements slowly fill up

Nearly all the beneficiaries were brought to the site of their new homes in lorries engaged by the Chennai Corporation. Photo: M. Karunakaran  

Visalakshi Gnanasekharan had been a pavement dweller all her life.

Access to basic amenities was a tall order around her hut on North Fort Road. She was eking a living by selling flowers, mostly to commuters using Fort railway station. However, her income had dipped and, with very little support from her sons addicted to liquor, she was finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet.

Then, a month ago, the 55-year-old, moved along with several other families into tenements constructed by Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) at Ezhil Nagar, Thoraipakkam. Nearly all the beneficiaries and their belongings were brought to the site of their new homes in lorries engaged by the Chennai Corporation.

“When we got onto the lorry, little did I realise that my life would change permanently,” Visalakashi says.

Since June, nine months after the inauguration of the 6,000 tenements built at an estimated cost of Rs. 230 crore, families evicted from different areas have been moving in. The transition has not been easy, but families are glad that safety and privacy are now a given.

Each flat comes with an in-built bath and toilet. Families have to pay Rs. 5,000 as advance and Rs. 500 a month as rent as part of their contribution to the project.

“The housing complexes are huge, but there are very few people at the moment. It feels scary at times. I hope more families move in soon,” Visalakshi adds.

Radha Kannan (60) was earlier living in Chintadripet. “I have been allotted a third floor flat. I suffer from low blood pressure. There are others, including disabled persons, who have been allotted flats on the higher floors.”

Officials of TNSCB said they gave preference to senior citizens and disabled while allotting flats on the ground floor, and would sort out the issue soon.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 10:55:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-infra/tnscb-tenements-slowly-fill-up/article6284877.ece

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