Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Unfinished buildings rot in airport backyard

Chennai: Red tapism has held up construction for more than three years at Tharapakkam behind the airport with the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority refusing to lift the ban on building activity despite the state government denotifying the land proposed to be acquired for airport expansion.
Buyers said their grievances have not been redressed. S Somasekaran, secretary of the EVP Township House/Plot Owners Association in Tharapakkam, said about 100 plot owners were running from pillar to post to begin construction that had to be abandoned midway after the government declared the area would be acquired for airport expansion. "Since then, the buildings have been lying idle because the CMDA froze building activities Gerugampakkam, Kolapakkam, Kovur, Manapakkam and Tharapakkam, adjoing the airport, in 2007."
In 2014, the government denotified about 850 acres after the Airports Authority of India declared it did not require the land for the purpose, he added. However, the CMDA's reluctance to reclassify the 'institutional zone' into a 'residential area' that could help residents begin construction of their houseshad affected them badly, he added.
Several plot buyers had secured huge loans from banks for constructing homes and began work, but with restrictions still in place, many people were now shelling out huge sums as interest even without occupying their homes. Some of the unfinished buildings had been severely damaged in the last 10 years, a few of the owners said.
V M Sivaraj, whose daughter bought a plot and began construction, said she had taken a loan of Rs 15 lakh. "She secured the loan for a period of 15 years in 2007. She continues to repay the loan amount but is yet to occupy her dream home," he said.
20/12/17 Times of India