120 families of Chitra Nagar in no-man’s land
No word from authorities after 80 of 200 families living along Adyar banks were relocated to Athipattu last week
CHENNAI: After 80 families, out of 200 families, from Chitra Nagar in Kotturpuram were relocated last week, there has been no progress as the remaining 120 families are yet to be notified when and where they will be relocated. The 120 families were earlier planned to be sent to tenements at Vyasarpadi, but it was put on hold after residents opposed it after a government-arranged visit to the location.
The Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust along with Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board and the Water Resources Department started evictions at Chitra Nagar for the Adyar river restoration project on March 2 and 80 families were resettled to Athipattu phase III tenements near Ambattur.
“We were unhappy with the houses and the environment in general at Vyasarpadi so we told them to give us houses in any other (TNUHDB) scheme. We are yet to hear from them,” said Murugan V, a plumber.
The families said they were expecting to be shifted last week and many of them had even left their jobs. Most women in the area work as domestic helps in and around Kotturpuram, while the men are daily wagers, taking up plumbing, carpeting, painting and tailoring work locally.
Nagalakshmi K, the sole breadwinner of her family, had been employed for eight years as a domestic help nearby. However, with news of the impending evictions reaching the employers, they replaced her within a few days. “I’ve been sitting without work these last few days waiting for the resettlement. There is no confirmation as to when they will evict us or even if they will,” Nagalakshmi said.
Many families also include children who are in the middle of their school year. S Gayathri, a student of Class 9 said, “It’s difficult to finalise whether I can continue to study in the same school or if I would need to shift without any confirmation of location (from authorities). For my friends who are in Class 12 here, public exams are on.”
When contacted, a senior TNUHDB official said they are holding talks with the people to get their consent for the relocation. “Most of them are willing, but some of them have apprehensions. Once that is done, it (the eviction) will resume.”