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File photo

WRD issues eviction notice to 200 encroachers in Kolathur

After removing shops located at the Retteri junction adjoining the Jawaharlal Nehru Salai recently, WRD officials have issued eviction notices to about 200 residents of Tiruvalluvar Nagar at Kolathur.

CHENNAI: Residents of Gangai Amman Koil Street, Tiruvalluvar Nagar, Sivasakthi Nagar and other places in Kolathur are worried over the eviction notice issued by the officials of Water Resources Department for allegedly encroaching Kolathur lake land.

After removing shops located at the Retteri junction adjoining the Jawaharlal Nehru Salai recently, WRD officials have issued eviction notices to about 200 residents of Tiruvalluvar Nagar at Kolathur.

M Murthy, secretary, the Federation of Kolathur Residents’ Welfare Association, said that about 3,000 residents of Gangai Amman Koil Street, Tiruvalluvar Nagar, Sivasakthi Nagar, Mahatman Gandhi Nagar, Kannagi Nagar, Church Street and Neelamegam Street at the Kolathur Assembly Constituency represented by Chief Minister MK Stalin are facing evictions.

“People have been living here for over 40 years building their houses and paying taxes including property tax,” he said. “WRD officials issued notice to the residents in May 2022 asking them to vacate their houses stating that they have built them on the waterbody land. Now, on October 17 and 18, they issued eviction notices to about 200 residents of Tiruvalluvar Nagar asking them to vacate in 21 days.”

CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan has written to the CM requesting him to intervene and stop the eviction in his assembly constituency. He said that in 1994, the State government had allotted 67 acres of land to build multistorey tenements for the government employees at Kolathur.

“Before that, for implementation of the housing project, the PWD issued an order in 1993 for abandonment of the tank where the land was located,” he said and urged the CM to change the land status so that residents can stay back.

A WRD official said that 75% of Kolathur lake which was spread over 65 acres was under encroachment. “We’re planning to remove 3,000 encroachments. We’ll do it in a phased manner. Since people are residing there, we’ll get clearance from the government before taking steps to evict them, as they can be evicted only after the resettlement process,” he said.

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