‘Give land ownership to dwellers in unobjectionable slums’

Activists form a human chain in support of slum dwellers’ demands

A number of organisations under the banner of the Federation for Urban Habitat-Land Rights formed a human chain here on Saturday to highlight a number of demands, including the transfer of land ownership to people living in slums classified as “unobjectionable”.

J. Sebastin, coordinator of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board Residents’ Welfare Committee, one of the organisations involved in the agitation, said the government must stop evicting people from “unobjectionable” slums and instead grant pattas to them for the land.

The federation appealed to the State government to not resettle people from the city to faraway places like Perumbakkam, Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery. With the government planning to evict people residing along the banks of the Buckingham Canal, the organisations said the evicted dwellers must be provided houses within the city.

The activists stressed on the need for a comprehensive plan to improve the livelihood of those already relocated in resettlement colonies outside the city. The organisations objected to the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board’s plans to build high-rise buildings by demolishing old tenements as it will significantly increase the population density in the localities.

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