Eviction begins at 91.04 acres of land, encroached upon, on Chennai’s outskirts

Land reclaimed: Minister for Revenue K.K.S.S.R Ramachandran at Semmenchery where poromboke land with a market value of ₹2,010 crore was cleared of encroachments on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Chennai district administration has begun eviction at the 91.04 acres of poramboke land encroached upon, at Semmencheri village in Sholinganallur taluk. The land was encroached upon reportedly by the Jeppiaar Educational Trust (JET) as per the records of the Revenue Department.

The eviction followed an order made this week by the Commissioner of Land Administration (CLA), dismissing JET’s revision petition that challenged a 2011 order, asking the trust to vacate the land.

In 2012, a report by an official of the Revenue Department estimated the guideline value of the land to be ₹595.9 crore and the market value to be ₹1,048.3 crore. Minister for Revenue, K.K.S.S.R Ramachandran, who inspected the land on Saturday, told the media that the land was now worth around ₹2,010 crore.

Officials said that the encroached land had some hostel buildings, a playground and a few other facilities. The land is located close to the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board tenements at Semmencheri.

The recent order by CLA and the subsequent eviction happened after attempts spanning more than two decades by the trust to get the State government to transfer the land to its name.

Prolonged attempts

The issue dates back to at least 1996, when the trust approached the Revenue Department to either transfer, through long term lease, or outright sell the land, which was classified as “government manavari tharisu” in the revenue records, to it.

In 2003, the trust’s request was rejected, stating that such a transfer of land might set a wrong precedent and the government would need the land for other purposes. Soon after, steps were initiated to vacate the land as per the Tamil Nadu Land Encroachment (TNLA) Act by revenue officials of the then composite Kancheepuram district, under which the land then fell.

JET soon moved the Madras High Court, challenging the government’s action. In 2011, while upholding that the trust was an encroacher, the court, however, acknowledged lapses in the procedures followed under the TNLA act. The trust was subsequently given an opportunity to explain under Section 7 of the act, following which, the court said that the revenue officials could take appropriate action.

Consequently, after hearing the explanation, the then District Collector of composite Kancheepuram district issued orders to evict the encroachment in December 2011. In January 2012, the trust appealed to the CLA against this order through a revision petition.

While this remained pending before the CLA, the trust approached the District Sub Court in Tambaram in 2012, requesting transfer of title for the land. The then District Sub Judge ruled in favour of the trust in 2014.

Though the State government appealed against this court order, the case made no further progress until 2020 when the Commissionerate of Land Administration started pursuing it persistently.

In the first week of September, the ruling of the District Sub Court was set aside by the Principal District Judge of Chengalpattu, paving the way for the CLA to pass an order on JET’s revision petition.

Minister Ramachandran told the media on Saturday that the government was keen to reclaim all such encroached land across the State.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 9:11:38 PM |

Next Story