Chennai: The Chennai Corporation and Southern Railway have planned a major resettlement project for residents who have constructed houses in unauthorised settlements along the railway tracks.
Thousands of families have constructed their houses in railway land in various parts of the city. The government has been trying to evict the residents for various projects associated with development of railway infrastructure. But the resettlement drive has proved unsuccessful so far due to lack of support from the state government and the Chennai Corporation.
At a recent meeting, the Corporation asked the Southern Railway to “submit the list of slum occupants through Chennai Corporation to the state government for their rehabilitation.”
Relocation of residents living beside railway tracks in the Washermenpet-Vysarpadi, Vysarpadi-Korrukupet, Korrukupet- Washermenpet sections is expected to taken up in a bid to reduce illegal dumping of garbage on the tracks.
The Corporation has studied a range of public health problems in a number of residential neighbourhoods in north Chennai. Many such challenges to public health, including vector-borne diseases, open defecation and air pollution due to burning of plastics, are the result of garbage being dumped in railway land, said officials. The tracks are also being used as open toilets.
The Southern Railway has also requested the Corporation to identify places for establishment of toilets. The Corporation will construct over 19,000 toilets using Swachh Bharat funds, many of which will be along the railway tracks.
Biometric survey of residents in unauthorised residential neighbourhoods will begin shortly. Large parcels of railway land in the city are expected to be cleared before the Assembly elections, next year.
The Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board will offer alternative accommodation to such residents in areas such as Perumbakkam and Okkiam-Thoraipakkam. Over one lakh residents along waterways and railway tracks are likely to be relocated shortly.
The government has been trying to evict thousands of families that have constructed their houses in railway land in various parts of the city