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300 huts demolished in Domingkuppam

Staff Reporter

We were not given alternative accommodation: residents

— Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

FLATTENED: An earth mover of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board demolishes huts in the Domingkuppam area in Chennai on Friday.

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) demolished around 300 huts in the Domingkuppam area on Friday. As the rain hurtled down, huts of several families were razed.

A TNCSB official present at the site said following a survey of slum dwellers, 189 families were shifted a month ago to the tenements in Okkiyam Thoraipakkam. “Today, we identified 88 more families who will be given allotments on Monday. We have also decided to provide a separate area for in-situ housing for 35 fisherfolk,” he said.

But R.Yasmin and C. Sobia, residents of the area for over two decades who were evicted on Friday, said that they did not receive any allotment certificate.

“The least they [TNSCB] could have done was provide us with housing and then tear down these huts. Where will we go in this rain, where will we sleep tonight,” asked Sobia, anguish written all over her face.

Another woman said that the Tahsildar had added her name on Friday and promised to provide her an allotment certificate on Monday. “What will I do till Monday? Where will I take my little baby in this rain,” she wanted to know.

A senior TNSCB official said it was an Open Space Reservation land.

“There has been a case over the land since 1993, and the matter is still pending with the Madras High Court. In the meanwhile, we received a court order to clear the encroachments,” he said.

Noting that after the survey, conducted last month, 189 families were given allotment. A further 123 families were identified on Friday and would be given housing soon. The rest of the people had no documents to prove they resided here, he said.

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