People evicted for Ukkadam flyover seek houses

Meanwhile, traders from the fish market requested the CCMC to lease its land to them as they have built their shops and other market facilities using their own money on CCMC’s land in Pullukadu.
Over 200 people including the sanitary workers who are residing in temporary sheds at Pullukadu staged a dharna in the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC)
Over 200 people including the sanitary workers who are residing in temporary sheds at Pullukadu staged a dharna in the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan, EPS)

COIMBATORE: Over 200 people, including sanitary workers who are residing in temporary sheds at Pullukadu, staged a dharna at the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) head office on Tuesday.

They demanded the civic body to vacate the traders and demolish the old fish market building and hand it over to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board at the earliest to construct a new housing unit for the 520 families who lost their houses for the Ukkadam flyover project.

The Ukkadam-Aathupalam flyover project works were started in 2018 in Coimbatore. In order to make way for the flyover’s ramps, several houses and old housing units at CMC Colony in Ukkadam were demolished and the officials promised the people that they would construct a new housing unit in the same area and provide them with temporary sheds in Pullukadu.

Though six years have passed, the officials have not provided them with proper housing facilities. Due to this, over 200 people residing in the sheds arrived at the CCMC head office and staged a dharna.

Sumathi, one of the affected people said, “It has been over five years since we vacated our houses and moved into temporary sheds. Still, there has been no solution. Some of them had no option but to move out and rent another house as the sheds began to leak and turned to be unsafe for children and adolescent girl children.”

A C Aarumugam, Dr Ambedkar People’s Sanitary Workers Association president, told TNIE, “Why didn’t the officials demolish the fish market when they demolished our houses? We marginalised people have been suffering a lot due to this. The slum clearance board is ready to build houses for us on the old fish market’s land. However, the CCMC is not vacating the traders and shifting the market to the newly built facility. We demand the civic body to evacuate the traders, demolish the old market building, and hand the land over to concerned officials to build houses for us.”

Meanwhile, traders from the fish market requested the CCMC to lease its land to them as they have built their shops and other market facilities using their own money on CCMC’s land in Pullukadu. As there are no provisions to lease out government land to a private party, the CCMC was unable to evict them from the old market and shift them to the new facility.

After holding a meeting with the people along with deputy commissioner Sivakumar, Central Zone Assistant Commissioner Senthil Kumaran, and others in this regard, CCMC commissioner M Sivaguru Prabakaran told TNIE, “We have sent a proposal to the state government asking for a special GO (Government Order) to lease out the CCMC’s land at Pullukadu to the fish market traders. We are awaiting an official response in that matter. Meanwhile, we even suggested providing land to the people at Pullukadu for the construction of the houses. But they refused the offer and wanted the old fish market’s land. So, once we receive the GO, we shall shift the traders to the new market which is ready, and hand over the land to the slum clearance board for the construction of the houses.”

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