COIMBATORE: Houses built by Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHB) at Sulur are vacant for more than ten years. Locals alleged that there was no maintenance and ground floor of a few apartments had caved in. Further, the buildings have become a haven for anti-social elements, the people said and the department to refurbish the buildings and allocate houses to beneficiaries at the earliest.
The houses were built to relocate those living near water bodies and on encroached land. It was launched in 2010 by Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUDB) formerly known as the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, at Puthu Nagar.
In the first phase, 108 flats were constructed at Rs 2.57 crore and handed over to beneficiaries in 2012. Consecutively two more projects -240 houses under the XIII Finance Commission's sanction in 2011 and 528 houses under the scheme of 'Housing for All (Rural) missions' in 2019- were commenced in the same area.
The 'housing for all' project is nearing completion, but work on the other one (240 houses), which had begun a decade ago with an outlay of around `seven crore has been stopped, said the officials. These unfinished houses are now in a dilapidated state.
"Most of the houses are damaged as construction work has been left unfinished for more than 10 years. In two blocks, the ground floor has caved-in for one foot and other houses have become shelters for anti-socials. The entire building should be reconstructed without compromising on safety. The government should also take action against those who are responsible for not completing the project on time," said V Balakrishnan, Sulur Taluk Secretary of DYFI
Councillor of ward number 8 in the panchayat M Velusamy, who is making an effort to bring the projects to use, said the work has now begun to expedite the repair of the houses that were halted under construction. We are expecting that this project will help underprivileged people in this town panchayat,"
An official in the Urban Habitat Development Board said, the housing project for constructing 240 houses was halted midway due to the political intervention and lack of coordination between officials and contractors.
"The ground floors of the two apartments are covered by the clay that will shrink after rains. This caused the ground floor to cave in. However, there is no threat. We have started to repair the 240 houses and the work is expected to get complete within six months," said the official with a condition of anonymity.