Tamil Nadu

Residents oppose TNUHB plan on Mandaveli high-rise project

Housing woes: Residents protesting against the high-rise project at Mandaveli on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: RAGHUNATHAN SR

Residents of the old Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB) tenements in Mandaveli on Tuesday protested against the board’s plan to demolish the buildings and reconstruct them as high-rise apartments.

Stating that they did not want the buildings to be taller than five storeys, the residents urged the board to provide them adequate time for finding alternative rental accommodation during the demolition and reconstruction.

K. Dinesh Kumar, an youngster residing in the area, said there were 448 units in the older buildings that were constructed more than 30 years ago. Apart from that, around 150 families resided in tiled roof or thatched roof houses in the locality. “To accommodate these families, we do not need 11 storeys,” he said.

G. Manonmani, another resident, said they were afraid that such high-rise buildings would result in the apartment units and the lobby being cramped. “We are seeing media reports on how such buildings are in Pulianthope. There are 15 to 20 apartment units on every floor,” she said.

She said the additional apartment units to be built were likely to be used to house families from other parts of the city. “All the families here are living as a community for decades. If outsiders come, it would cause a variety of problems,” she said.

N. Jothilakshmi, another resident, said they were finding it difficult to find alternative accommodation. “Majority of us are daily wage earners. Our livelihood and our children’s education are tied to this area, and hence we cannot move to faraway places. However, house owners are demanding ₹8,000 to ₹10,000 as rent and ₹7 per unit for electricity. Such an amount is not affordable for us,” she said.

She said the board can instead wait for two housing projects in nearby localities to complete before commencing this one. “The residents, who were living in those areas, had moved elsewhere for rental accommodation. Once they move back in, the rental houses will be available for us at a relatively cheaper rate,” she said. She added that the residents also wanted the reconstruction to be done in a timely manner unlike the delays experienced in a few other places. Highlighting that the officials from the TNUHDB had not informed them about any payment to be made for the new houses, she said none of them were in a position to pay any money for the houses.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 2:53:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/residents-oppose-tnuhb-plan-on-mandaveli-high-rise-project/article37890859.ece

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