September 12, 2017
People living in the housing board colony in the city are in dire straits as the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) has asked them to vacate the houses citing the dilapidated condition of the buildings.
According to sources, the TNHB has served notices on the dwellers in the Singanallur and VKK Menon housing units asking them to hand over the houses to it. The notice, sources say, has been issued following the damage caused to the buildings due to the heavy rains in the city for the past two weeks.
SSS Roshan, a resident of the housing board near VKK Menon road, who has been living there for the last 48 years ever since his birth, told the Covai Post that there are 216 houses in the colony. “TNHB officials are coming to our housing board colony only during the rainy season. Most of the residents are sanitary workers employed by the corporation. If we are asked to vacate immediately where will we go?” he asks.
Admitting that the condition of the dwellings is worse, he said many dwellers are ready to move out if they were provided alternative accommodation. “We are clueless as to whether TNHB authorities have alternative options for us,” he said, claiming that they have not kept their promise of building new houses for them in the same locality in 2014.
Another resident in the Singanallur Housing Board said the TNHB officials refused to construct new buildings in place of the damaged ones saying they had handed over the land documents to us and hence we should vacate considering safety.
RTI Activist S P Thiyagarajan said the officials in the TNHB are apathetic and are not concerned about the people living in the housing boards. They would take action only after any untoward incident happens like in the Somanur bus stand collapse that claimed five lives, he said.
“As per RTI report, there are 13 schemes in the 600 acres of TNHB. Among them the housing unit buildings in Singanallur are unsafe to live because of the poor quality materials used for construction then. The houses in the Menon road colony are no better,” added Thiyagarajan.
He also accused the officials of not taking steps to hand over the 10 per cent of lands belonging to TNHB in Gandhimanagar to the Corporation. Those lands, he said, can be used for developmental schemes but remain as wastelands.