In one of the petitions, K Sarasa, a roadside dweller, pointed out that around 1,800 families live on the roads of North Chennai areas like Broadway, Mannady and Royapuram. “The families have been living on the roads for three generations. We belong to the Dalit community,” she said.
She added that the roadside dwellers are facing difficulties during monsoon and summer seasons. “Education of our children affects and women are living without any safety.” While pointing out the difficulties faced during the COVID-19-imposed lockdown, Sarasa added that authorities refuse to allocate houses citing lack of vacant houses.
She also demanded the government to provide permanent houses within 5 km of their place of work. “We are ready to pay 10 per cent share on the cost of houses on an instalment basis. Also, most of us do not have the Chief Minister’s medical insurance cards. The government should take steps to provide insurance cards,” she urged. The petition urged the civic body to conduct camps to provide ration cards, Aadhar cards, old-age pension. Meanwhile, responding to another petition sent by Sarasa in February, TN Slum Clearance Board had said that houses have been allocated to slum dwellers and Corporation conservancy workers in under construction tenements Mulakothalam. “The Board will consider providing houses to the roadside dwellers based on the availability of houses,” the response said.