The Greater Chennai Corporation will start relocating residents who have encroached upon the streets and drains of George Town to Perumbakkam to facilitate flood preparedness work in the area.
The civic body has completed the biometric survey of 105 families of residents of St. Xavier and Pedariyar Koil Streets off Broadway in George Town. The families in the area, who have been homeless for several generations, have built huts on the roads, encroaching on a major drain, causing flooding in many parts of George Town.
As a result of the encroachments, the Corporation has not been able to redevelop the stormwater drain in the area. Flood mitigation projects will be developed after the removal.
Residents in the area have requested the Corporation to provide them houses in TNSCB flats in Pulianthope and Moolakothalam, instead of Perumbakkam. “The residents have their source of livelihood in the area. Many kids who get football coaching will lose the opportunity if they are resettled in Perumbakkam. So they have requested houses in Pulianthope,” said K. Karthik, a resident whose daughter attends football coaching.
“More than 20 residents have died in the neighbourhood in the past few months. My husband died a few months ago. I am yet to get financial assistance for widows. The resettlement will delay the process. So we requested homes in Pulianthope,” said S. Vijaya, a resident of St. Xavier Street.
“Many children get infected by cholera because sewage enters our huts. There are no toilets in the vicinity. The Corporation demolished the toilets three years ago,” she said. “Over 20 students are pursuing higher education in colleges in the neighbourhood. A large number of students are getting school education. So we request houses in the vicinity,” said Ponni Saravanan, a resident.