Months After Losing Homes, Squatters' Stand Vindicated as Builder Stakes Claim to Land

More than 100 low-income families rendered homeless after Thiruvallur district revenue officials demolished their homes.

Published: 01st April 2016 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2016 09:00 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Less than two months after revenue authorities removed a slum near Korattur Station Road claiming the dwellers encroached onto a lake bed, a private builder has placed a board on Thursday claiming it to be the company’s property.

M/S Mangalam Builders claimed ownership of the land confirming what the evicted slum dwellers had claimed all along when the eviction was being carried out. More than 100 low-income families were rendered homeless after Thiruvallur district revenue officials demolished their homes on February 6.

“We are following court directions to evict settlements along water bodies. So far, there has been no alternate arrangements made for the evicted families,” was what a senior revenue official overseeing demolitions on that day told Express. Residents then alleged that the land had been sold to a private builder by a former tahsildar.

The sequence of events on Thursday confirm the claims of the evicted families with a private builder claiming ownership of the land. “This property is under the possession and custody of M/S Mangalam Builders...Tresspassers will be prosecuted,” read the huge billboard at the site.

The move has even allegedly caught the revenue authorities by surprise.

“We have filed a complaint with the local police. The do not own rights. The property belongs to the Government as per the High Court direction,” Ambattur Tahsildar Balasubramaniam told Express.

The Korattur Police have issued a Community Service Register (CSR) to the revenue authorities.

According to K.Chamundeeswari, one of the earlier residents, even two years ago, representatives of a private builder arrived, demanding the families to leave. She claimed that the retired Tahshildar had got `3 crore promising the land to few financiers.

“When they evicted us, they said it was government property. Now, a private builder claims ownership. How is that possible?” asks the flower vendor who has moved into a rented place near Station road. The earlier residents claim that their plots were approved by the CMDA for a slum clearance board project back in 1993 and that the officials altered the documents to suit their whims.

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