A study conducted by the Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC) has found that the State government has failed to provide alternative accommodation to around 6,700 of the 10,700 families evicted from the banks of Porur lake.
She added that most of the families that were deprived of alternative accommodation had to take homes on rent. As the families were resettled to a rural area away from their urban roots, their only source of income is from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
Mallika, an elderly woman, who was resettled to Gudapakkam, said that the government is yet to provide basic facilities to the area.
“The government evicted us without providing an alternative. We staged several protests following which the government decided to arrange for houses before evicting people,” she said.
IRCDUC also alleged that the government has been removing people but allowing commercial structures on river banks. “The government is removing ordinary people but they do not touch commercial establishments encroaching the waterbodies,” Venessa said.
The report also pointed out that even after 13 years, 84 per cent of men and 70 per cent of women have to travel over 10 kilometres to get to work. “Gudapakkam and Nallur do not have proper roads, street lights, water supply, ration shops, anganwadi centres and primary health centres. The relationship between the resettled people and host communities are strained and the government should take steps to create an amicable situation between them,” the report urges.
Apart from this, the resettled families are yet to be provided with patta documents and due to the lack of patta, several families do not have power connections, Venessa said.