Res­i­dents of Poes Gar­den are a wor­ried lot

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Res­i­dents of Poes Gar­den and res­i­den­tial ar­eas in its vicin­ity have voiced con­cerns about the pro­posal to con­vert the res­i­dence of former Chief Min­is­ter Jay­alalithaa into a memo­rial.

A pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion for as­sess­ing the so­cial im­pact as­sess­ment of the project was con­ducted in Tey­nam­pet on Satur­day. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 20 res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tions par­tic­i­pated, de­mand­ing bet­ter civic fa­cil­i­ties in the area to cope with the chal­lenges likely to be posed by the de­vel­op­ment of a memo­rial.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has ini­ti­ated the process of ac­qui­si­tion of Veda Ni­layam, in Poes Gar­den.

A. Enoch of the Madras School of So­cial Work, which has been tasked with conducting a so­cial im­pact as­sess­ment of the area, said it will be com­pleted based on data col­lected from var­i­ous sources in the area. “Res­i­dents are wor­ried about the safety and se­cu­rity of the area. They are also con­cerned about traf­fic con­ges­tion. Some res­i­dents said the gov­ern­ment should not al­low hawk­ers in the area af­ter de­vel­op­ment of the memo­rial,” he said.

Some res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tions pointed to the prob­lems of drink­ing wa­ter sup­ply in the area, de­mand­ing bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture be­fore de­vel­op­ment of the memo­rial.

Park­ing woes

Res­i­dents also de­manded an al­ter­na­tive space for park­ing ve­hi­cles in the area to pre­vent traf­fic con­ges­tion. “The road is al­ready con­gested. Traf­fic is per­mit­ted in just one di­rec­tion along many roads. If the ve­hi­cles to the memo­rial are not re­stricted, the res­i­den­tial area will lose its charm,” said a res­i­dent. They also al­leged that the Chen­nai Cor­po­ra­tion had not been clean­ing the area af­ter the death of former Chief Min­is­ter Jay­alalithaa.

As per the af­fi­davit filed for the 2016 As­sem­bly elec­tions, Jay­alalithaa and her mother pur­chased the prop­erty on July 15, 1967 at a cost of ₹1.32 lakh. The prop­erty’s mar­ket value, which spans 24,000 sq. ft., with a built-up area of 21,662 sq. ft., was ₹43.96 crore in 2016, as per the af­fi­davit.

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