Chennai: As a part of the ongoing resettlement drive in the city, nearly 190 families residing in Avvai Puram in Shenoy Nagar were evicted during wee hours of Tuesday.
Later in the day, these families were moved to the state slum clearance board’s resettlement site in Perumbakkam, where more than 6,500 families relocated from different parts of the city in the recent years reside.
The eviction drive was conducted by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) under the Cooum River Restoration Trust (CRRT). M Govida Rao, deputy commissioner (works), GCC, headed the operation which began around 6-7 in the morning.
K Nagaraj, one of the residents in Avvai Puram, said the officials informed them on Monday evening that they would be evicted the next morning and housing units have been allotted for all 190 families in Perumbakkam.
“All these families residing along the river banks had a bitter experience during the 2015 floods. We are planning to relocate as many families as possible before the monsoons approached, as a part of the ongoing resettlement initiative,” said Raju. The senior official from the civic body reasserted that there was no forceful eviction as the residents expressed willingness to relocate.
However, the residents alleged that they did not receive the mandatory shifting expenses (Rs 5,000 per family) from the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB). “Officials assured that we will receive this amount tomorrow (Wednesday),” said another resident, requesting anonymity.
Subsequently, the civic body and CRRT plan to evict 170 families residing in Namachivayapuram located on the same stretch along the banks of Cooum river on Wednesday morning.
These eviction drives were a part of two projects - post-2015 flood relief efforts and Integrated Cooum River Eco-Restoration plan. In all, 24,000 families from banks of Adyar and Cooum rivers have been identified for relocation.