EVEN before the IT SEZ planned by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) could take shape, there seems to be a big rush for IT space among various corporates and developers in the city.

While city-based corporates like the Bannari Amman Group, Salzer group and KG group have come out with their plans on the IT front, many new commercial developers have also joined the bandwagon by getting formal SEZ approvals for their proposed projects. Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure is planning to develop an IT SEZ over 60.73 acres at Keeranatham village and Span Ventures has got formal approval for 10.5 acres IT/ITeS SEZ at Eachanari.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco), is also planning an IT park in the city suburbs. Rakindo Developers, a 50-50 joint venture between Vishwatej Projects and Rakeen, UAE, along with Tidco has proposed to develop feeder township, residential and leisure facilities over 625 acres in the villages of Sundakamuthur, Perur Chettipalayam and Thithipalayam.

The group also plans to promote an IT park on 25 acres at Perur village at Chettipalayam in south Coimbatore district. Bannari Group plans to develop an IT SEZ over 78 acres at Kalapatty village in Coimbatore and has got formal approval for around 60 acres. The entire process is likely to be completed in the next few months. Salzer plans to develop 1 lakh sq.ft. IT park in association with a US-based consulting service provider while KG group has acquired around 160 acres near its existing campus at Saravanampatty for developing it as an ITES SEZ. I

According to sources in the property development business, by the end of 2009, approximately 10-15 million sq.ft, of new IT/ITeS space will enter the Coimbatore market.
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  • Ondipudur residents complain about overflowing garbage bins TNN | Oct 23, 2018, 00:14 IST

    Coimbatore: A group of residents from Harihar Royal Apartments between Singanallur and Ondipudur on Monday sought the collector’s intervention to clear the area of garbage.

    Garbage bins placed along the road are overflowing as they have not been cleared in months, members of the Harihar Royal Residents Welfare Association said in a petition. “As a result, mosquitoes and houseflies are making our life difficult. Large mounds of garbage are piling on street corners for the past three months because the corporation workers clean the locality rarely. Moreover, rainwater is stagnating along the roads in the area, making the place unhygienic,” the petition said.

    Even though they complained to the city corporation several times, the officials took no action to rectify the situation, the complaint said. “We even informed the Singanallur MLA and our ward councillor about the issue, but to no avail. We request the collector to direct the health department to take action and ensure that no disease outbreak happens,” the petition added.

  • Villagers seek land away from dam site TNN | Oct 23, 2018, 00:16 IST

    Tirupur: Villagers from Ponnivadi panchayat near Dharapuram on Monday petitioned the district administration seeking land at a safe place as they fear water from Nallathangal check dam will submerge the colony.

    More than 400 people are staying in Adi Dravidar Colony in Koneripatti in Ponnivadi panchayat, said K Ganesan, a petitioner. “Most of us are working as agricultural labourers. We have obtained government identity cards, electricity connection and drinking water pipeline connections at our houses. But whenever a check dam on Nallathangal stream brims with water, our houses get waterlogged. It happened three years ago. We were evacuated and allowed to stay in neighbouring villages. Many elderly people and children suffered at that time.”

    “The check dam is brimming with water now. So, the district administration should provide us land to reside permanently. We are ready to vacate our houses and shift to the new place,” Ganesan added.


  • Ring Road project: Notifications issued to landowners in 7 villages TNN | Oct 24, 2018, 00:13 IST

    Coimbatore: The revenue department has issued notifications to landowners in seven villages under section 15 (2) of the Tamil Nadu Highways Act to acquire lands for the Western Ring Road project.

    The department will issue notification to landowners in nine more villages to acquire 355.5 acres soon. The state government has sanctioned Rs 320crore to acquire land from 16 villages to lay the 32.43km four-lane road.

    District administration officials conducted a meeting with the landowners of Vadavalli on Tuesday evening. “People from seven villages participated in the meeting. We will fix the rate for the land to be acquired from them and issue the notification to the rest of the nine villages - Kuniyamuthur, Madukkarai, Perur, Narasimmanaickenpalayam, Gudalur, Pannimadai, Kalikkanaickenpalayam, Kavundampalayam and Somayampalayam,” a senior official said.

    The state government has allotted Rs 825crore for the project that would facilitate vehicles from southwest of Coimbatore to reach the northern part without entering the city. The road will start from Sugunapuram near Kuniyamuthur on the Coimbatore –Palakkad Road and will reach Narasimmanaickenpalayam.

    After the road becomes operational, the city will face less traffic chaos, a revenue department official said.

    The district administration had formed two teams consisting of two special tahsildars and land surveyors for the project in July 2018. The teams started land survey immediately. Notifications were issued to the owners of West Chithiraichavadi, Madampatti, Theethipalayam, Nanjundapuram, Perur Chettipalayam and Sundakkamuthur and Vadavalli for land acquisition.

  • Coimbatore airport-Uppilipalayam flyover construction will begin soon, CM says Pratiksha Ramkumar

    Construction of a flyover between the Coimbatore International Airport and Uppilipalayam will begin soon, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Saturday.
    | TNN | Oct 27, 2018, 14:50 IST

    Edappadi K Palaniswami

    COIMBATORE: Construction of a flyover between the Coimbatore International Airport and Uppilipalayam will begin soon, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Saturday.

    Palaniswami said funds had been allotted to create an outer ring road in the district.

    Speaking at the launch of Uyir Foundation, an NGO formed to make Coimbatore’s roads accident free, the chief minister said the Tamil Nadu government was taking many efforts to reduce traffic congestion on the roads.

    “We understand the need for the new flyover between airport and Uppilipalayam. The detailed project report for the same is being prepared. Once it is done, we will start work immediately,” said Palaniswami.

    He agreed to look into the foundation’s request to widen arterial roads and create alternatives roads to the main roads.

    The chief minister said the Centre had begun work on converting 19 main roads in the state into highways. Some of these roads are in Coimbatore district.

    “The Centre has agreed to convert 19 of the 40 roads proposed. Work on 12 roads has begun. Work on the remaining seven roads will begin soon,” he said.

    The chief minister pledged his support to the foundation and agreed to look into its suggestions and implement them to make Coimbatore accident-free.

    This is the first time that the police commissioner, collector and transport commissioner have agreed to become ex officio members of an NGO.

    Uyir Foundation submitted a memorandum of proposals to reduce traffic woes in the city, which will make commuters and drivers less impatient and thus less prone to get into accidents.

    “There are a few missing link roads in the city. Link roads can be alternates to the congested main roads,” said the NGO’s founder, Dr S Rajasekaran.

    “A few examples include a road connecting Trichy Road with Nanjundapuram Road through Nanjappa Nagar, a road connecting Perur Main Road with Chokkampudur-Ponnaiyarajapuram Scheme Road and a road connecting Avinashi Road and Anna Nagar extension,” he said.


  • Say bye to plastic, eco-friendly products are here tnn | Oct 28, 2018, 00:01 IST

    Coimbatore: From biodegradable carry bags made of vegetable starch to pencils made of paper waste to green gifts like small indoor plants, the second edition of Manjappai, a fair to promote eco-friendly products and alternatives for plastic, has something for everyone. The two-day fair was inaugurated at the Corporation Kalaiarangam at R S Puram in the city on Saturday.

    Organized by the city corporation in association with Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore, the event seeks to eliminate the use of plastic and find alternatives, besides bringing about a behavioural change in people, said Kavitha Karthik, a Swachh Bharat ambassador with the civic body. “Rather than just talking about alternatives for plastic, we have to bring about a behavioural change in people that would make them consciously give up the use of plastic from their lifestyles.”

    The fair, she said, has three objectives - providing alternatives for plastic, alternative job opportunities for small industries dealing with plastics and (providing) options to manage plastic waste.

    “While the state has announced the plans to ban single use plastics from January 2019, many small industrialists, who make them, have raised concerns about their future. So, we have found alternative job options for them, such as manufacturing and dealing in degradable bags and cloth bags,” said Kavitha, who is also an organizer of Pasumai Angadi, an initiative of the city corporation. “We have brought in entrepreneurs, who reuse plastics for making paver blocks, to manage the existing plastic waste after the ban comes into effect.”

    Several novel products displayed at the fair have, meanwhile, caught the public’s attention. The products of Plantcil, a one-and-a-half-year-old firm which deals in paper and pencils made of recycled paper, were one among them. The firm uses demonetized notes and dry flowers from temples to produce textured recycled paper, visiting cards and greeting cards. Its representative Ilamurugan Raja said some of their pencils come with plant seeds attached to their end. “If people plant it, instead of throwing it away, the seeds will sprout.”

    Biodegradable carry bags made of starch from tapioca and vegetable waste were also popular at the fair. Sampath Kumar, a representative of Ecofora, distributor of the eco-friendly biodegradable carry bags Regeno, said the bags would dissolve when immersed in hot water. The bags could carry any commodity, not just waste, he said. “Though the bags are a bit costlier than polythene bags, they are much cheaper than cotton bags.” He said food and clothing outlets were now coming forward to use biodegradable carry bags.

    So Aware, an eco-friendly forum which had caught the city folk’s attention with their green Ganesha initiative during Ganesh Chaturthi, has come up with a green gifts initiative for this Diwali. Its representative Swarajit Alakananda said the gifts consisted of small potted indoor plants. “The plants act as air purifiers and they also provide oxygen.” He said they have also roped in potters to make small earthen pots for the plants.

    Other attractions at the fair include cloth bags, vettiver products, earthenware and wooden toys.

  • Three blocks of land for airport expansion to be acquired by November-end Pratiksha Ramkumar | TNN | Updated: Oct 31, 2018, 11:28 IST

    A government official said they were considering files of three blocks at a time for clearance.

    COIMBATORE: The state government has begun to process and clear a few blocks of land, which were earmarked for acquisition, for the expansion of the city airport. District administration officials said all the procedures to acquire one of the 24 blocks were completed. Two more blocks are likely to be cleared within the next two weeks. They said the government was processing the land acquisition in blocks of three.

    Though the price was fixed in May with the consent of almost 90% land owners, land registration is yet to be done and owners are yet to be paid the amount promised to them. However, the department incharge of land acquisition said the process was actively under way.

    “All the clearances to acquire block 7 (Uppilipalayam) is in place. Files pertaining to blocks 1 and 19 have been half cleared. Funds for all the three blocks should arrive by and then we will go ahead with the land registration,” an official, who didn’t want to be named, said.

    A government official, meanwhile, said they were considering files of three blocks at a time. The state government has earmarked 24 blocks of land (around 450 acres) for acquisition. “Recently, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had asked the district administration to speed up the land acquisition process. Once the first set of blocks get cleared, the remaining 21 blocks will be processed faster.” Land owners, who have agreed to the price fixed by the government, said they were pinning hope on the official statements. “We regularly meet the district revenue officer, requesting him to speed up the land acquisition process, so that we could buy alternate plots of land. Hope it does not keep delaying until prices of nearby land shoot up,” said a land owner, requesting anonymity.
    Land holders, who have leased out their property, are the most anxious lot because they have reportedly not received lease/rent amount for the past six years. “Only after clearing these arrears they could register the land. Funds for clearing these arrears too will be released only as part of land acquisition. It is critical that they don’t delay it any longer, so that the people, who have already bought land on bank loans hoping to repay it with the government payout, can do so without delay,” said S Jagannathan, a land owner in Singanallur.


  • Tirupur corpn releases short films on garbage segregation, plastic ban TNN | Nov 2, 2018, 00:38 IST
    Tirupur: The city corporation on Wednesday released two short films explaining about the importance of garbage segregation at source and to create awareness on plastic ban.
    The corporation is planning to upload the short films, released by corporation commissioner K Sivakumar, on social media and play them in cinema theatres during intervals.

    City health officer K Boopathy said, “We roped in a private agency to make the short films, ‘Maruvi’ and ‘Namathu kuppai namathu poruppu’. A few Tamil serial actors and others were casted. The films are made in an attractive manner to explain the importance of managing garbage in an eco-friendly way.”

    “Sometimes, verbal instructions or advertisements in certain media were not so effective as awareness created on social media. These films were made to exploit the medium to our advantage. The short films were made to insist on choosing alternative eco-friendly carry bags instead of harmful plastic bags, and segregating degradable and non-degradable wastes in each house,” he said.

    “We named one of the films as ‘Maruvi’, which means evolution, to explain how garbage could evolve into compost,” he added.


  • Coimbatore sees rush for plot approvals ahead of November 3 deadline
    Plot owners, developers and real estate brokers were seen in large numbers at computer centres and liaison offices to at least upload their applications online.TNN | November 02, 2018, 15:00 IST
    File photo
    COIMBATORE: Heavy rush is on to get all the unapproved plots regularized as the deadline fixed for the same is hardly two days away.

    Plot owners, developers and real estate brokers were seen in large numbers at computer centres and liaison offices to at least upload their applications online. Officials with the office of local planning authority (LPA) said they had received around 5,000 applications in the past month alone.

    The state government had revised the deadline to November 3 from the earlier May 3 for all unapproved layouts to get approved by the local planning authorities (if the plot size is below 5 acres), or the directorate of town and country planning (if the plot size is more than 5 acres).

    There are around 17.23 lakh unapproved plots across the state and of this around 20% plots are in Coimbatore. Only less than a third of these plots had applied for registration as on Wednesday. “Out of the 3.4 lakh plots, we have received applications from 1,01,690 single plots and around 1,547 layouts,” said C Mathivanan, LPA member secretary in the district. “Of this, we have approved 450 layouts and 35,000 single plots.”

    Officials expect close to a thousand to at least enter the approval system by Friday 5pm. “We have a staff member at the front desk to collect applications and regularization fee of Rs 500 and give them a receipt. We also have a person in place in our office to help them with uploading the layout sketch online,” Mathivanan said.

    The remaining plots would, however, continue to remain unapproved. Real estate service providers blame this on the cost of approval, corruption in the system and cumbersome process. A section of players, meanwhile, expect the government to extend the deadline.

    “Many land owners are hesitant to even apply for approval because of the cost involved - Rs 55 per sqft. Most single plot owners are finding it difficult to mobilize the money,” said Adhithya Muthusamy, executive director of Lands and Lands Ventures India, which handled around 15,000 applications in the district.

    “In addition to Rs 55 per sqft, layout owners have to pay Rs 500 per plot to apply for regularisation. Owners who have 200-300 plots, including sold ones, have to cough up lakhs,” said C R Shivakumar of Dhanvi Ventures India, which handled around 4,000 applications. “There is also a confusion. The high court has said Rs 55 per sqft is high, but a new amount is yet to be fixed. People, who pay now, are afraid that their money will go down the drain.”

    He said the entire process was complicated. First, one has to file an online application with the local planning authority or directorate of town and country planning and upload a drawing, get them to inspect it, take an acknowledgement receipt to the local body, submit a whole list of documents and then get the approval. “Many officers sit on the files and don’t act, because they have no guideline on how long they can keep a file. They move it only if we bribe them,” said a liaison officer.


  • Bring all residential areas under CCTV surveillance: Police tnn | Nov 3, 2018, 00:39 IST
    Coimbatore: The rural police on Friday urged the public to install CCTV cameras on their residential premises as it would help them crack cases without much delay. They said out of the 1,588 residential areas in the district, only 394 have CCTV camera facility. While 41 residential areas have agreed to fix CCTV cameras on their premises within a month, the remaining 1,194 were urged to follow suit at the earliest.

    “We are trying to connect CCTV cameras to the modern control room to monitor movements from one place. We also have plans to install more CCTV cameras in Mettupalayam, Vadavalli, Pollachi, Thudiyalur, Sulur and a few other areas. This will help us crack cases without much delay,” district superintendent of police R Pandiarajan said.

    As per the data available with district crime records bureau, there are 452 banks in rural part of the district and 433 of them have installed CCTV cameras. The remaining 19 have agreed to install CCTV cameras soon.

    The data also revealed that 94 of the 105 private finance institutions, 213 of the 230 jewellery shops, 9 of the 15 bus stands, 182 of the 187 petrol bunks, and 133 of the 156 hotels and lodges in the district were also under the surveillance of CCTV cameras.

    Police also requested banks, petrol bunk owners, respective municipalities and town panchayat to fix CCTV cameras in their buildings.


  • After greening own campus, BU expanding tree-planting drive to 100 affiliated colleges Nov 4, 2018, 00:12 IST

    Coimbatore: Bharathiar University is on a mission to increase green cover at 100 affiliated colleges in Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode and the Nilgiris.

    The university, through its National Service Scheme (NSS) scheme, has sourced 10,000 saplings and is in the process of shipping them to the colleges.

    University officials said that last year they had planted 10,000 saplings on the university campus. “We decided to expand the drive to the affiliated institutions this year. The planting drive will be conducted on the onset of the monsoon season,” BU’s NSS co-ordinator R Baskar said.

    NSS volunteers of the university had planted 10,000 saplings on the 12-acre around the vice-chancellor’s bungalow last year. “Of them, 9,300 have survived,” Baskar told TOI.

    The cost of the saplings, digging and drip irrigation were sponsored by Rotary Club of Coimbatore Icons.

    This year, as there was not much space on the university campus – with quite a few new blocks coming up – BU authorities decided to provide saplings to the 100 affiliated colleges in the four districts. “We have got the requirement from the colleges and will ship the saplings to the campuses,” Baskar said. The unit have sourced about 13 varieties including neem, pungam and fruit-bearing trees such as jamun and guava. About 80 saplings have been planted on the university campus near the Physical Education and Tamil departments, said Baskar.

    The NSS wing is in the process of transporting the saplings to the colleges, where NSS programme officers will involve students to plant the saplings.

    BU’s NSS wing is also planning to monitor the maintenance of the saplings in the colleges and give prizes to those, which have maintained them well, Baskar added.


  • DMK leader arrested for forging property documents walks free tnn | Nov 4, 2018, 00:24 IST
    Coimbatore: The district crime branch police arrested a DMK functionary on Saturday on charges of forging the signature of Periyanaickenpalayam block development officer and selling 10 unapproved sites to general public. However, the judicial magistrate court refused to remand him in judicial custody as there was no prima facie case against him. The DMK functionary was let off with a direction to appear before the court as and when summoned.

    The arrested was identified as S Senapathi, 44, of Vadavalli, the DMK union secretary of Thondamuthur.

    On Friday, M Navamani, 55, block development officer of Periyanaickenpalayam, approached the district crime branch police with a petition, the subject head of which read ‘compliant against Senapathi’. The compliant, however, said one person had taken possession of one-acre land in an unapproved site at Somayampalayam village panchayat by forging block development officer’s signature and documents of directorate of town and country planning.

    Pointing out that the person had sold the property to various people after dividing it into 10 plots, the block development officer sought stringent action against the accused.

    Police registered a case against Senathipathi under Sections 420, 464, 466, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code and arrested him on Saturday. When he was produced before the judicial magistrate court-VIII, his lawyer K Myilvaganan said the complainant hadn’t mentioned Senathipathi’s name in the compliant and police had failed to produce the forged documents before the court. He said there was no prima facie case and requested the court to release Senathipathi.

    Judicial magistrate Balamurugan agreed that there was no prima facie case against Senathipathi and released him with a direction to appear before the court whenever summoned.


  • Air pollution goes up on festival day Nivedha Selvam | tnn | Nov 8, 2018, 00:50 IST

    Coimbatore: The Supreme Court’s direction restricting the usage of fire crackers has helped a little to reduce air pollution in the city.

    The overall air pollution level in the city has in fact gone up than the previous year on Diwali day, although only marginally.

    On Tuesday, the city has recorded air pollution level of 60.46 parts per million (PPM), as per data from the website of ‘Smart Cities’ mission. The recorded pollution level was 60.19 PPM last year. The pollution level has gone up in 13 places this year.

    Under the ‘Smart City’ mission project, the city corporation has placed sensors at 30 places, including Saibaba Colony, RS Puram, Race Course, Town Hall, Ukkadam and Singanallur, to study the level of pollutants in the air on daily basis.

    On a normal day, the level of pollutants in the air is recorded to be between 40 and 50 PPM on an average, as per the data obtained.

    While Sundarapuram has recorded the highest level of air pollution followed by Town Hall near CCMC Colony and Sungam, Puliyakulam followed by Ondipudur and Selvapuram has recorded the lowest level of air pollution on Tuesday.

    Stating that the Supreme Court’s direction has come only a few days ahead of Diwali, city-based activists said that the direction would take long time to yield its fruit.

    “At least half of the citizens did not follow the stipulated time and the government does not have enough manpower to ensure that the timings were followed in every nook and corner of the district,” said Mac Mohan, an environmentalist.

    The government can impose order to control the manufacturing rate and sales rate of firecrackers, but unless they create awareness among the public, nothing would change on ground, he added.

    Also, the order has come very late and by the time, a large quantity of firecrackers was manufactured and sold, as well, he said, explaining that the public have no other go but to burst the fire crackers that they have purchased.

    Even though, it did not have much impact on the day of Diwali, it has created a huge impact on other days, said NI Jalaluddin, another environmentalist, explaining that in general, the public would burst crackers at least four to five days before and after Diwali.

    “Not many people busted crackers on other days and it has drastically come down. In that way, the order has created an impact amid the public,” he said, adding that the much better results could be expected in the following years.

  • Diwali garbage piles up on streets as sanitary workers don’t show up tnn | Nov 10, 2018, 01:16 IST

    Coimbatore: Hardly 50m away from the Sree Ayyappan Temple on Thiruvalla Street at Siddhapudur lay a large mound of garbage and local residents as well as devotees are left to suffer the stench emanating from it. And this is a common sight on a few streets, where corporation sanitary workers haven’t turned up even two days after Diwali.

    Corporation officials said conservancy workers were yet to return to work in full strength. Earlier, they had said almost 80% of garbage generated on Diwali day was cleared by Wednesday evening and the remaining would be cleared on Thursday. But many streets were found with large mounds of garbage even on Friday. On V K K Menon Road garbage was dumped in at least two places.

    “We are yet to see a garbage collection vehicle drive by or clearing the bins,” said Vijaya S, a resident of Thiruvalla Street. “Looks like they just cleaned the roads.”

    Many residents said sanitary workers were yet to visit their houses to collect garbage since Tuesday, forcing them to dump it in bins placed on street corners. “Not even a single sanitary worker has visited our house since Monday, when they came asking for money for Diwali,” said K Vijayan, a resident of Vadavalli. “On Sundapalayam Road you can see garbage dumped in three places. In one place, someone had set the garbage on fire.”

    Kavundampalayam and Irugur residents too said corporation workers were yet to turn up to collect garbage after the festival. “We waited for corporation workers to come and collect garbage until Thursday. When they didn’t show up, we threw the garbage into a bin on street corner,” said Rajesh Sundar, a resident of Irugur.

    Pointing out that Diwali was a big festival for conservancy workers, a corporation official said most of them go to their native towns to celebrate the festival. “The shortage in staff happens every year for a couple of days after Diwali. By Monday, we expect all these issues to be sorted out.”


  • Find your green thumb with these garden kits tnn | Nov 11, 2018, 00:21 IST

    Coimbatore: Here is some good news for those interested in terrace gardening and organic farming in a small scale. You can now cultivate the hobby by shelling out just Rs 322, thanks to the state government, which has decided to continue its terrace gardening promotion scheme for another year. The scheme provides easy access to gardening kits at a subsidized rate.

    The kits can be bought from the horticulture block level offices or from the main office on Lawley Road.

    This is the fourth consecutive year that the horticulture department has offered its terrace gardening scheme. The district has been allotted 5,000 kits this year. Called roof top vegetable garden kits, they include six grow bags with coir pith, 10 packets of vegetable seeds, 18 water soluble fertilizer packets, neem oil and phosphobacteria.

    The kits contain seeds of chillies, brinjal, ladies finger, beans and tomatoes. If taken care off well, a small balcony in an apartment can produce enough organically-grown vegetables to meet the domestic needs. As many as 500 kits are available at S S Kulam block alone.


  • Coimbatore civic body reimburses residents of slum clearance board units
    Before they shifted to the units, the beneficiaries were staying in tenements on city corporation lands along roads and water bodies.Nivedha Selvam | TNN | November 12, 2018, 15:00 IST

    COIMBATORE: Municipal administration minister SP Velumani on Sunday issued cheques worth a total of 44.75lakh to 148 people, who had paid the amount to book houses in the housing units of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB).

    Before they shifted to the units, the beneficiaries were staying in tenements on city corporation lands along roads and water bodies. The civic body, which was planning to speed up the lake restoration and rejuvenation projects under the smart city mission, had launched a drive to evacuate them. They were provided alternative accommodation at the units and were asked to book them by shelling out 36,000.

    Later, the corporation agreed to repay the amount from the smart city fund. “TNSCB was conducting talks to sell the units to the civic body. As the talks were on hold, the board collected the amount from those for whom the houses were allotted. After the corporation decided to pay for the beneficiaries, the board decided to return the money. So far, the corporation has paid over 12crore of the 22crore,” a TNSCB official said.

    Of the 148 people who were repaid, 100 are staying in the TNSCB unit at Malai Nagar and 48 in the Anna Nagar unit. While some of them had paid the booking amount in full, others were paying in instalments. All of them were removed from various parts of the city including Kottaimedu, Selvapuram EB Colony, Perur Main Road and PK Pudhur Main Road.

    While there are 960 apartments in the Anna Nagar unit, the Malai Nagar unit has 224. Each apartment has an area of 400sqft.

    Allotting apartments in the Anna Nagar unit to 170 people, the minister said that buses from Anna Nagar till Cheran Managar through Gandhipuram, Ganapathi and VOC will commence service from Sunday. “The units have been provided with drinking water, street lights and new roads,” he said.

    TNSCB did not collect money from the new occupants, the TNSCB official said.