CHENNAI : 0ver 50 families are left waiting in rain and sun at Navalar Nedunchezhian Nagar as officials check the veracity of their claims of being entitled to a house at their own pace.While around 500 families have been evicted under the Cooum River Restoration Project since November 28, allotments have been given to 421 families — an underestimation, claim residents.When Express visited the site on Thursday, several families were seen eating and sleeping out in the open, among the debris of other houses that were razed down last week.
A domestic worker and wage-labourer with her husband, Nagalakshmi Ravichandran said, “We have not been given an allotment but our house has already been brought down. My husband was recently operated upon for heart defects.”For others, their houses have been left untouched although electricity services have been disconnected, forcing them to sleep in the open.
“There are all kind of pests running around after the other houses in the area were brought down,” said Gayathri B, in her seventh month of pregnancy.According to officials, an enumeration carried out in 2015 had put the eligible families to receive allotments at 700. A more recent enumeration has put the number of families at 421.
“Any enumeration taken before six months of eviction becomes outdated because tenants may come and go. The earlier enumeration may have had political interferences,” the official said.
In response to a writ filed on behalf of the residents, the High Court of Madras had sought a list of the 700 families from the petitioners to be passed on to the officials for further action.
Officials from the PWD said that the verification of the list is underway.
“Out of the 700 families listed, many do not have structures against which we can give allotments. They show 2x2 feet structures and claim that they are houses,” said a PWD official.