Land encroached by bizman for 35 years recovered by Coimbatore Corporation

The land was originally a 40-foot wide road, Besides encroaching it, the businessman had rented out a portion of the land for Rs 95,000 a month.
Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation
Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (File photo)

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation’s (CCMC) town planning department removed encroachments from 21 cents of land worth about Rs 10 crore in RS Puram, which was encroached for 35 years, on Sunday based on a recent Madras High Court order.

The civic body’s 21 cents of land on VCV layout in RS Puram was originally a 40-foot wide road, but it was  encroached by a businessman for the past 35 years. Besides encroaching it, the businessman had rented out a portion of the land for Rs 95,000 a month.

A city-based social activist SP Thiagarajan had filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court regarding the issue in 2017. The verdict in the case was delivered on March 28 this year and the judgement was in favour of the CCMC. The court ordered the civic body to remove the encroachments immediately and create a passage for public.

Speaking to TNIE, Thiagarajan, Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Reserve Site Protection Committee said, “Despite the court ordering to remove the encroachments, the officials were delaying the removal of the encroachment. A businessman named S Balasubramaniam had encroached on the CCMC’s property for over three decades and was blocking a public pathway. Despite insisting the officials multiple times, they were delaying the removal of the encroachment. The CCMC’s town planning department personnel began removing the encroachments on Sunday.”

“Ponnusamy, another activist, was the one who first filed a case against the encroachment in 1988 which later got dismissed in the Coimbatore district sub-court in 1997. Later, another case was filed in a higher court in the same year and was under investigation. I filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court in 2017, after which both cases were merged by the court and the verdict was delivered on March 28, this year,” he added.

Sources said Balasubramaniam is the owner of Archana Darsana cinema theatre and Mannadiar Cars and delayed the encroachment removal drive by using his influence.

When the officials tried to remove the encroachments on Sunday morning, the workers on the site opposed it. However, over 50 residents of Kamarajapuram nearby gathered and condemned them. CCMC Town Planning Officer (TPO) Kumar told TNIE, “The 21 cents of land which is worth around `10 crore was encroached for about 35 years.

We didn’t want to create law and order issues during the election time. So we waited for the elections to get completed and began removing the encroachment now. Over 95% of the works have been completed. Only a few debris removal works are being carried out now. Soon, it will be removed and a road will be formed for the public.”

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