As much as 96 per cent of the families relocated to the resettlement colony set up in Perumbakkam were receiving subsistence allowance from the government only irregularly, revealed a survey conducted by the Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC) and Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN).
“The assessment reveals that people have not been receiving the monthly subsistence allowance on a monthly basis as promised. Even those who received the payments did not receive them on a regular basis. This assessment reveals that 96 per cent of surveyed families received irregular payments, and only 4 per cent reported that they had received it once in three months,” the report said.
Under the Integrated Cooum River Eco-Restoration Plan (ICRERP), the evicted families are entitled to Rs 5,000 per family as shifting allowance and Rs 2,500 per family per month as a subsistence allowance for one year.
The assessment also revealed that 97 per cent of the families have received the shifting allowance of Rs 5,000 while 3 per cent of surveyed families have not received the shifting allowance even a year after resettlement. None of the surveyed families had received payments for all the twelve months. “This defies the purpose of the subsistence allowance that is provided with an intention to mitigate the adverse impacts of resettlement, especially on income, of affected families,” the report says.
The report recommends the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) to provide two extra months’ allowance along with the pending payments to compensate for the delay and the loss incurred because of the delay. “The Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT) should evolve an independent monitoring mechanism to monitor the implementation of the schemes,” report urged.
In the just concluded Assembly session, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had claimed that the families would be provided shifting allowance and monthly allowance, while free buses would be provided for students to travel to their schools.