November 15, 2018
Periyakulam, once spread across 120 acres, has shrunk to mere 30 acres due to rapid urbanisation and resultant encroachment.
But now under the Central Government,-funded Smart Cities Mission, there will be rehabilitation of all water bodies and removing of encroachments. The State Government in its 2018-19 financial report unveiled plans to acquire private land near water bodies and construct houses for those who had encroached upon the government land along the reservoirs. The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and civic bodies had launched drives to remove encroachments.
Despite eviction notices six months ago, residents did not vacate the area and today 500 slums were demolished. Alternative accommodation would be provided for the residents through the slum clearance board at Malumichampatti in Ambu Nagar area.
Top corporation officials told The Covai Post that it was for the Highways Department to respond who in turn passed the buck to TNSCB.
Alternative accommodation is provided to encroachers at housing units at Malumichampatti. It is mainly labourers staying there and facilities are poor.
N. Selvi (46), a labourer, says, “The bus stop is 3-4 km away. After 6 pm it is not safe. We are poor and can’t afford a two-wheeler. There are rickshaws. But, they charge heavily. There is no street light.”
K. Nagraj (50), corporation worker, says, “Commuting is a major problem. I have to travel till Singanalluir, Townhall and Ganapathy and my punching time is 6 am. There is no bus stand nearby.”
“Buses don’t have a proper schedule and sometimes we have to wait for long hours,” says P. Vijiyan (41), corporation worker
Chinamma (65), housewife, says, “There is no government hospital nearby and we can’t afford private hospitals. There are no facilities for the elderly.”