Residents of Poes Garden are a worried lot
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.
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.