CHENNAI: Seven years have passed and finally a summon from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is what it has forced the TN Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) to acknowledge that as many as 266 families evicted way back in 2009 from the Cooum Banks are yet to be provided with alternative accommodation.
The families were evicted from different stretches of the Cooum’s banks in July 2009 for construction of the elevated corridor connecting the port and Maduravoyal. Out of this, as per the submission made by the Board before the NHRC, 141 families even had necessary residential proof.
“TNSCB resettled 818 slum families residing prior to June 2006 on the alignment of the elevated corridor project in the tenements at Okkiam Thoraipakkam and Semmancheri. The remaining 266 families were not provided tenements,” the status report, dated March 3, submitted by TNSCB MD R Palanisamy said.
Acknowledging that these evicted families were not allotted tenements, the Board has submitted that each of the family would be allotted houses. It has said that 141 families, who has residential proof, would be allotted houses under the JNNURM scheme and the remaining 125 under ‘Housing For All Scheme.’
But, according to activists the basic human necessities were denied to them for seven years and the acknowledgement has come only too late. “Most of them lived on the streets and during the floods, we had to provide them trapaulins to sustain,” said Arul Doss, an activist.
While the complaint regarding the issue was filed by activist Gabriele Dietrich in 2010, the Board had responded only to the summon issued by the NHRC on January 22, 2016.
According to the status report, the cut of date for enumeration of the affected families was earlier fixed as June 2006. It was modified to October 2009 at a high-level meeting convened by the Chief Secretary on November 30, 2010. These 266 families were settled in the evicted areas after June 2006 and prior to November 2010.
While the status report said nine families have beenallotted tenements at Kannagi Nagar or Okkium Thoraipakkam, it did not explain the delay.