DHARMAPURI: Residents living on the banks of Ramakkal lake have appealed to District Collector K Santhi requesting her to revoke the eviction notice. The petition was filed after PWD (WRO) issued notice to over 150 families who have encroached upon government land.
During the grievance day meeting on Monday, representatives from over 150 families near Hale Dharmapuri made the request. According to sources, the PWD(WRO) department directed the 150 families to vacate the place immediately, stating the area has been identified as prone to flooding.
K Ramesh, a resident, said, “For the past three generations we have been living here and made our homes here. Now the government is asking us to vacate. Most of the people in this area are working as labourers and have no other place to go. We appeal to the collector to allow us to live here.”
Another resident, S Anitha said, “PWD staff told us that we are living in an area where there is a high risk of floods. We have been here for over three generations, and not once have we been affected by floods. Also, we have not encroached upon the lake or their canals. We are living in poramboke lands, we have not caused any disturbance asking us to evict is unreasonable. We urge the collector to stop the eviction.”
When contacted, officials in the PWD(WRO) department said, “Recently the collector inspected the Ramakkal lake and there are also plans to restore the lake. It is not only the lake that will be restored but also the canals for which encroachments have to be cleared. The families have encroached on the lands and built buildings here. We have issued eviction notices legally. We are only enforcing the law and protecting water bodies.”