Chennai

Over 1 lakh buildings could be on ‘objectionable lands’ in the city

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Enumeration by Revenue officials was resisted by residents at many places; the absence of public consultation has led to a lack of clarity and widespread fear

Over 60,000 buildings in the city are located on ‘objectionable lands’. This number could double when the Chennai Collectorate completes its enumeration in a fortnight.

The enumeration of ‘objectionable land’ and ‘unobjectionable land’ in the city should have been over in October itself. As the survey has created a scare among residents in many localities, leading to their non-cooperation with the Revenue officials, there has been a delay in completing it.

The enumeration has twin objectives. First, it is intended to help residents get patta for the property developed on ‘unobjectionable lands’ such as natham poromboke.

Second, the government plans to demolish all buildings which have been constructed in ‘objectionable lands’ such as marshland, rivers, lakes and ponds.

Ecologically sensitive

So far, the Revenue officials in each of the 16 taluks in the city have identified at least 4,000 buildings standing on ‘objectionable lands’. For example, the Pallikaranai marshland has at least 1,025 buildings developed in ‘objectionable lands’ near the ecologically sensitive area.

“The Forest Department alone has enumerated over 600 buildings, all of which have to be demolished,” said an official. Residents and former councillors have pointed to the need for more manpower to complete the enumeration and help people understand the process.

Former Corporation Councillor of Madipakkam M. R. Nareshkumar said that many residents in areas such as Indira Nagar, New Colony Main Road and Sundaramurthy Street are worried because their houses have been constructed on the Adambakkam lake. “Officials have not yet surveyed the lake area. They are unable to complete the enumeration because of lack of manpower,” he said.

P. Jagatha, a resident of Madipakkam, said the officials should explain the impact of the enumeration to all the residents to prevent the spread of misleading information.

“The former councillors are unable to help us. We are unable to talk to the MLAs. There is no public consultation. Revenue officials visiting households also refuse to explain about the enumeration when we ask them. We just give them Aadhaar and other information. We are yet to have any clarity. We are scared,” she said.

Revenue Department officials said they had not conducted public consultations to explain the enumeration to all residents as it could lead to law and order problems in many areas.

“We just have to complete the enumeration on time. We will submit the data on buildings on ‘objectionable lands and unobjectionable lands’,” said an official. Revenue officials said that after the completion of the enumeration, the number of buildings likely to be demolished in the city could well be over 1 lakh. “The government will take a decision on the demolition of buildings,” the official pointed out.

Better development

Similarly, more than 1 lakh residents in lands such as natham poromboke are expected to get patta, improving the prospect of better urban development in the area.

For example, the issuance of patta for residents with “temporary patta” issued for saleable natham poromboke lands may offer them the scope to build more than ground plus one floor in the land, officials said. Former Corporation Councillor P. Govindaraj of Mugalivakkam said most of the village in erstwhile Mugalivakkam was natham poromboke.

“The enumeration will help many residents who have purchased land in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Revenue officials in many areas of the city are trying to complete the work despite resistance from residents. “We will complete the work in 15 days. The enumeration has been delayed because of rain,” said a Revenue official.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:55:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/over-1-lakh-buildings-could-be-on-objectionable-lands-in-the-city-enumeration-by-revenue-officials-was-resisted-by-residents-at-many-places-the-absence-of-public-consultation-has-led-to-a-lack-of-clarity-and-widespread-fear/article29873239.ece

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