Tension prevailed in Velipalayam village in Nagapattinam district when portions of three houses, reportedly built on encroached land along the Sivan Temple pond, collapsed on Tuesday morning.
Around 7 am on Tuesday, portions of three houses, owned by Kannan (64), Shankar (65) and Anand (60), collapsed and the inmates ran out as soon as they heard some strange noise. Subsequently, the neighbours rushed to the spot to find the portions of the houses in the pond.
On receiving information, the revenue officials and the Velipalayam police rushed to the spot and conducted an inquiry.
Following this, officials came to know that 20 houses were built illegally around the Sivan Temple pond on an encroached land. However, they could not trace the time when the waterbody was encroached upon.
Locals claimed that the houses were built illegally as the pond had little water flowing most of the time. But, during the recent intermittent rainfall, there was heavy flow in the sub-canal in Kollidam river, which resulted in huge storage in the pond. This might have resulted in soil erosion, pushing the houses into the pond.