Corporation evicts pavement dwellers near Egmore station

Gagandeep Singh Bedi says they have been taken to shelters

October 17, 2021 01:38 am | Updated 01:38 am IST - CHENNAI

Stiff resistance: Greater Chennai Corporation employees with the help of the police evicting pavement dwellers in Egmore on Saturday.

Stiff resistance: Greater Chennai Corporation employees with the help of the police evicting pavement dwellers in Egmore on Saturday.

The Greater Chennai Corporation on Saturday evicted homeless residents from roads near Egmore railway station and provided alternative accommodation in shelters.

Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the homeless residents have been given accommodation and food in a shelter for the homeless ahead of the onset of the northeast monsoon. “We have provided shelter for 1,600 homeless persons in shelters in various parts of the city. We will develop more shelters for the homeless persons,” said Mr. Bedi.

The Corporation is holding discussions with the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board to explore the possibility of providing new houses to the pavement dwellers.

Those evicted from Egmore on Saturday requested the officials to allot them new houses in the vicinity as they had their source of livelihood in the neighbourhood.

Velankanni said there were around 100 homeless families near Egmore railway station. “We have been homeless for many years. We request our Chief Minister to intervene and give all the families alternative accommodation near Egmore,” she said.

A few of the homeless residents, including girls, in Egmore have completed graduation in city colleges in the last few years. They requested support for getting jobs, housing and welfare assistance from the State government. The Corporation is planning to send teams of officials to guide the homeless residents get better source of livelihood, housing, education and jobs. Officials said they have identified 54 families who were homeless in Egmore.

The civic officials took the belongings of the residents to the homeless shelter on Saturday, with support from the police. However, a few residents marched towards the office of Egmore MLA I. Paranthaman in the evening, demanding his intervention. “We are planning to give accommodation in a new homeless shelter. The homeless will get alternative housing a few months later,” said Mr. Paranthaman. Late in the evening, some residents claimed that they would continue to reside along the pavement until they were allotted new houses in the vicinity. Officials said they would continue to persuade such residents to shift to the shelters.

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