CAG finds TNSCB in violation of the TN Slums Act
A post-eviction scene at a slum in Ennore, Chennai. Undeclared slums like this are frequently subjected to forced evictions in contravention of human rights and national and international laws. Photo Courtesy: Jacintha Chitra, Researcher, Citizen consumer and civic Action Group
The TCN@CAG team on 22nd December 2015, attended another hearing of the case related to the cleaning of Chennai’s waterways filed by Mr. Edwin Wilson at the southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Chennai. The counsels for Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust (CRRT), Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), industries charged for polluting the Cooum (namely, Madras Fertilizers, Chennai Petroleum and Ennore Thermal Power Plant) and the petitioner were present in the court for the hearing.
The affidavit filed by Mr.P. Edwin Wilson before the National Green Tribunal seeking appropriate directions to clean up the Coovum river,adyar river and the Buckingham canal running through the city of Chennai.
The community outreach team at CAG recently learnt about the Government’s plan to evict 14,200 households from 58 slums located on the Cooum river banks in the guise of the Cooum River Eco-restoration Project. After a thorough perusal of the project documentation, we see it as a plan not to clean the waterway but as an excuse to raze the slums and develop the riverfront.
The promise of a pucca house with an attached toilet and bathroom along with other facilities like running water connections, electricity, etc. would seem like a welcome idea for any resident of a slum without any of these basic facilities. But it is not so for the residents of Konnur High Road slum who have been asked by the Corporation to vacate their houses and relocate to the tenements of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) in Ezhil Nagar.