CHENNAI: Nearly five months after all 603 houses were razed down in Thideer Nagar, Greams Road, as part of the Cooum river restoration project, seven automobile repair shops continue to stand today, giving State government authorities a run for their money. With the seven shops in the way, the design for the newly constructed bunds had to be modified so as to go around these shops, said a PWD official.
“The owners of the seven shops had gone to court against the eviction. Though the case has been admitted, there has been no hearing in these six months. We have to wait until the case is taken to its logical conclusion in court,” said the official.
When Express visited the street on Friday, the seven shops were found to be the only buildings standing in the stretch, along with a public toilet that is no longer in use; bunds were formed right at the back of these shops in the empty space where the houses once stood.
In November last year, the families in Thideer Nagar were evicted despite strong resistance from the community for being relocated mid-academic year. They were relocated to Perumbakkam, around 20 kilometres away.
According to shop owners, the relocation option offered to them near Singaperumalkoil, over 20 kilometers away from Tambaram, is not a lucrative alternative. The owner of Lakshmi auto spare parts said, “I have had this shop here for 16 years. Anybody will know that we won’t be able to do business there like we are able to do here.” When contacted, a senior Corporation official said that they were waiting for PWD to take a call on the issue.