Rajaji Nagar residents protest anomalies in renovation project- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Resentments are brewing among a section of Rajaji Nagar residents. The area is one of the most densely populated ones in the city, sprawling over 12.6 acres of land at the heart of the capital city. Residents allege that the `61.42- crore Rajaji Nagar Redevelopment Project was launched without publishing the beneficiary list and the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is planning to give housing units to outsiders.  Residents launched a five day-long  protest at Housing Board Junction on Friday, demanding the civic body publish the list of  beneficiaries. Rajaji Nagar hosts around 1,100 households and around 2,000 families reside in the area.

Anil Kumar, a resident of Rajaji Nagar Colony, said that the condition of the houses ispathetic. “We live in a shed and it’s falling apart due to lack of maintenance. Now, the civic body is planning to give housing units to people from outside Rajaji Nagar. They launched the project without publishing the beneficiary list,” said Anil Kumar. 

Former councillor R Harikumar said that the former UDF government announced the construction of 1,000 homes with 600 sq ft each to rehabilitate the residents of Rajaji Nagar. “We will launch a protest to ensure that every family is properly rehabilitated when the new housing units are set up,” said Harikumar. He said that as per an RTI reply, several other beneficiaries from Vattiyoorkavu, Mudavanmugal, Thirumala and Kuriyathi are on the current list. 

“As far as I know, around 2,000 families from Rajaji Nagar have given applications to be part of the Life Mission Scheme.We will intensify the protest and political leaders including Oommen Chandy, and  Ramesh Chennithala have expressed solidarity with our cause,” Harikumar added.

Councillor denies allegations
Thampanoor ward councillor M V Jayalakshmi said that there is no agitation among the residents. “The allegations raised are baseless and we have no plans to house anybody from the outside. The project would address all existing issues in the area including waterlogging. The project has been tendered and will finish by 2022,” said M V Jayalakshmi. 

Project details
The redevelopment project being implemented by Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (SCTL) aims at revamping the densely populated settlement. The master plan of the SCTL  proposes the implementation of the redevelopment project in three phases addressing all prevailing issues. As part of Phase I, SCTL is planning to construct 249 housing units in 2.81 acres of land and 189 families residing in the identified land for the project are being rehabilitated. 

Highlights of the Redevelopment project
Eight 3-storey flat complexes to accommodate around 248 families 
Eight livelihood centres
One community hall
Green open spaces for recreation
Access roads with proper street lights and stormwater drainage
Sufficient parking area
Solution for flooding 
Bio bin and dry waste segregation hub
Sewage connectivity
Solar panels 

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