Owner-residents of the TN Slum Clearance Board blocks in Velleeswaran Thottam in R. A. Puram were promised new dwellings in December 2021 even as their old blocks here were demolished earlier this year.
Now, the pandemic situation has derailed this housing project.
Though some semblance of civil work was restarted a fortnight ago, it was halted when the ‘intense’ lockdown was announced last week.
The Board’s plan. applied to all old, standing blocks in the city is to demolish them and build new, taller blocks in the same campus.
In this part of the city, the Valleeswaran Thottam community was among the first to agree to the deal that was signed.
Once a colony of thatched and semi-pucca houses which came to be called K. K. Nagar ( after the late DMK leader M. Karunanidhi), the Board had built 15 blocks here to house the residents as well give room to dwellers on the banks of the Buckingham Canal off Kutchery Road and Mundagakanni Amman Koil zones, some 35 years ago.
Save for two blocks where residents are in disagreement with the Board, the rest were demolished and work began; the Mylapore MLA attended the bhoomi puja.
Residents here say that they have been promised apartments that will be 320 sq ft in toto; all built in three, large multi-storeyed blocks. They say most are happy with what has been promised save for the limiting common area on each floor. Each block will have a few staircases and two sets of lifts.
Residents say most of those who hold ownership of the flats have lived here till date; many of these have found rental accommodation close-by while some have moved to the suburbs. Each family was paid a onetime amount of Rs.8,000 by the Board before they vacated.