Cooum restoration: Commercial establishments create bottleneck

The RK Nagar shop owners had moved court in 2018 against evictions and continue to do business.

Published: 17th August 2021 04:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2021 04:14 AM   |  A+A-

Cooum river (Photo | D Sampathkumar)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: While 247 families from Radhakrishnan Nagar in Arumbakkam are all set to be resettled in KP Park, a small group of commercial establishments that allegedly encroach Cooum continue to pose a challenge, for officials.

The RK Nagar shop owners had moved court in 2018 against evictions and continue to do business. There are 26 establishments including a lodge and a marriage hall that continue to earn decently from the prime location. 

Officials said that while commercial establishments are up to around 140 feet into the river, most of them will be demolished when the slum habitations are demolished. While slum dwellers have received allotments to new housing, officials have not demolished the houses yet.

“We are preparing to remove commercial establishments too while demolishing housing structures. For those establishments that had gone to court, we have sought clarification in the duration of the stay that was ordered and if it has expired, they will be taken down too,” said an official. 

After 603 houses were taken down as part of the Cooum River Restoration project in Thideer Nagar, seven shops stand, four years after the houses in the slum were demolished. A multi-storeyed hotel in Koyambedu has managed to remain as the case drags on. 

There are at least 102 shops and commercial complexes identified to be in the Cooum’s right of way, mostly concentrated in the stretch from the Koyambedu bridge to NSK Nagar, according to official estimates.

Moved court in 2018

The RK Nagar shop owners had moved court in 2018 against evictions 

Officials say if the stay had expired, these structures will be taken down too



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