Sunday, June 24, 2007

Plea for exemption from land acquisition

CHENNAI: Around 350 families, which had booked independent houses for an amount anywhere between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh at the EVP Township in Tharapakkam, have requested the district administration to exempt the property from being acquired for airport expansion. Most of the families, which had already invested Rs 10 lakh as initial instalment, are uncertain about the future.

Meanwhile, the builder stopped construction on learning that the land fell under the survey number listed for acquisition for airport expansion.

In a letter to the District Collector of Kancheepuram, the families have requested the administration to avoid acquiring lands where residential projects are coming up.

According to the builder, the project was started in 2005 and stopped when the then state government decided to acquire the land for airport expansion. But, when the airport project was dropped, the builder went ahead with the project after receiving a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) in March 2006.

The NOC says that survey numbers 520/1 of Gerugambakkam village and survey numbers 20/1 to 65 of Tharapakkam village ‘‘are not affected by the proposed international airport as per the latest list.’’

Based on this, the EVP township, comprising 387 houses, were marketed and sold. Of the total houses, 184 are under construction, while 80 to 90 are nearing completion.

Tamilselvan, who had booked a house in the township, said that most of the people had taken bank loans and the government decision to acquire land made the banks stop release of the loan amount.‘‘But, we are forced to pay the interest instalments for the money already received and handed over to the builder,’’ he added.

Using the initial payment from the families, the EVP had built a compound wall, drainage network, etc, on the site.

Kalyanaraman, who had booked a house in June 2006, said that the district administration was not providing a clear picture on whether the land would be acquired or exempted.‘‘How come the state government decided to acquire land for airport expansion after issuing planning permits,’’ the residents asked.

The families met the builder on Saturday to discuss further course of action to save their property and savings ‘stuck’ in the project.


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