At least twenty-five people who either own property or manage a business on Kutchery Road are a hugely worried lot now. They are not sure how badly the properties are going to be affected when work begins on Chennai Metro on this section of the proposed rail line.
All their properties have been marked out. The yellow paint signs on the walls are indicators – these were executed some two years ago.
The Kutchery Road people have resigned to the eventuality. But some big questions haunt them today.
“We were told the compensation is to be twice the market value but on what basis that value is to be decided has not been communicated,” said one member of a family who owns a large property at the Arundale Road junction.
If Chennai Metro goes by the government stated value for this part of Mylapore – which is Rs.6000 per square feet of land – then all these property owners will stare at a black hole. That is because the local real estate market price now hovers around Rs.25,000 per sq. ft.
“We will all be paupers if Chennai Metro pays us such meagre compensation. We are really unhappy with the lack of transparency on its part,” one person said, wanting anonymity.
The affected parties on Kutchery Road have been sharing information online (though not all owners are connected) and often call up Chennai Metro officials to get updated.
“All we get is informal information. Nothing is official,” said another resident of this road.
Meanwhile, now and then staff contracted by Chennai Metro are at work here – mostly recording data at the street-level and assessing the structures off the road.
Word has got around that all lands owned by the government off this road and beyond will be accquired and built structures demolished. Though not confirmed by Chennai Metro, it is said the Police Quarters opposite the Jumma Masjid here could face the demolition squads, as will buildings at Luz Circle.
Though Chennai Metro has made it known that it will do its best to avoid acquiring private land for the project which links Light House to Poonamallee ( east-west), everybody on Kutchery Road expects a huge and long-drawn dislocation once the civil work begins. And since this road is narrow, the work is bound to affect even residents.
Chennai Metro had recently put out adverts in daily newspapers listing properties for acquisition for its Phase 2 projects. Listed here were some properties in Mylapore, Luz and Alwarpet-R A Puram. It is said that these notices were in addition to a big list that came out in late 2018.
Legal notices were sent to all the affected.
A meeting has been called for later this month by Chennai Metro following the recent notice for land acquisition where affected parties can make their cases known.
“We want Chennai Metro to be more transparent and appoint an officer to whom we can talk to all the time,” says a Kutchery Road property owner. “The contacts that we are given often do not respond at all. You can imagine the restlessness and anxiety that we are all going through.”