CHENNAI: Around 12,000 families in 49 settlements across the city have been relocated so far under the integrated Cooum river eco-restoration plan, according to official sources. Another 2,000 odd families in ten settlements are all that are left to be resettled, said officials.
Most recently, 221 families in Padi Kuppam were evicted under the scheme. While some have been resettled to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board project site in Navalur, some others may be accommodated in the Athipattu project site.
After a gap of eight months, the Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust with the Public Works Department and the city corporation resumed evictions in the city in September.
A United Nations’ Covid-19 guidance note issued on March 28 this year had stated that forced evictions of informal settlements and encampments must be declared an end to, ‘in keeping with their international human rights obligations to ensure residents of informal settlements/encampments can “stay home” and be adequately protected against the life-threatening virus.’
However, officials had said that in view of the upcoming monsoons and the residents’ increased risk of flooding if not relocated, the move was essential since the upstream of the Cooum river had been widened.