With no other option, residents left on the road

Forty-eight families from block D, a portion of which collapsed on Monday, are staying at TKP Mahal, Theradi, while the residents from other blocks are staying on the road from Monday night.
Residents sitting outside with their necessities (Photo credit: Justin George)
Residents sitting outside with their necessities (Photo credit: Justin George)

Chennai

A day after a block of Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board housing units in Tiruvottiyur collapsed, the residents of other blocks vacated the premises but were not provided an alternative place yet. Currently, the residents of the collapsed block are staying at a community hall nearby.
Forty-eight families from block D, a portion of which collapsed on Monday, are staying at TKP Mahal, Theradi, while the residents from other blocks are staying on the road from Monday night.
“We were not able to take any of our belongings, including documents, as we rushed out after noticing dust falling [from widening cracks] minutes before the building collapsed. Though the government has announced Rs one lakh, it won’t be sufficient as we have to buy household things, clothes, etc.,” said Kamatchi K, a resident of the ill-fated building when it was inaugurated in 1998. 
The families were asked to shift to a housing board tenement at Pulianthope but they refused pointing out that their workplaces and schools were nearby. “If they are looking for rental houses, the government would give Rs 10,000 till new houses are allotted,” an official said. 
“We have no option other than to stay on the road, because there was no proper response from officials when we asked them for a temporary place to stay,” said Nagarajan R, a resident of block E. “We are not able to afford rental houses, as both rent and advance have increased,” he added.
Meanwhile, the debris of collapsed building would be removed only after the residents of other blocks are vacated to another place. The officials are planning to demolish another part of block D that has 24 housing units.
An official said engineers would inspect the other buildings constructed by the board. The ones that are in poor condition would be demolished to ensure that the families did not return to live there.

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