CHENNAI: With the Southern Railways vetoing Chennai Corporation’s plan to widen the Madras Race Course (MRC) Road, abutting the Guindy Railway Station, the project has hit a roadblock.
Corporation officials told Express that Railway officials refused to let the civic body execute the project as they claimed ownership of the land, which was supposedly ‘donated’ by the Madras Race Club (MRC). “The land was acquired by our south region office. When we were initiating work on the project, railway officials from Guindy stopped us and said that the land belonged to the Railways. Our officials were stumped, said a senior Corporation official.
“Railways can either allow us to carry out the project or even block it,” the official added before stating that a delegation of Corporation officials met PK Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Chennai Division on Wednesday.
Express contacted Railways officials who, while confirming the sequence of events, stated that the land was leased to the MRC several decades earlier, a fact which may have escaped the notice of the club’s current supervisors, an official said.
“The land belongs to Railways. How can anybody else give it - including the disputed portion of the land - to the Corporation? Southern Railways owns a significant portion of the property, which was leased out to the MRC several years earlier,” said Additional DRM R Mohan Raja. “Any project regarding transfer of land belonging to the Railways has to be done with the consent of the Ministry of Railways. The city Corporation did not have the permit to carry out the road project,” he added.