Tamil Nadu slum residents want maintenance fee waived – ET RealEstate

CHENNAI: Struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic, residents of Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) tenements in Navalur, Gudapakkam and Perumbakkam have requested authorities to waive off their monthly maintenance amount during the lockdown.

Every month, they are supposed to pay Rs 750 for building maintenance. But since the lockdown, these families, many of whom are daily wagers, are finding paying the fee a Herculean task.

“I hardly get about ?2,500 a month, in that I need to pay for my child’s school and my mother’s medicines. On top of it, they demand this amount. How is it reasonable?” asked T Kalaivizhi, a resident of Navalur tenements.

Other residents alleged that officials are now demanding that they pay off all the outstanding maintenance by next month.

“We didn’t pay for more than seven months last month, this year we re-started. We already have debts to clear due to the lockdown,” said Mercy Rani, a student from Perumbakkam.

A study conducted by the Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC) and the Housing and Land Rights Network last month revealed that no formal announcement was made by the government regarding the extension of payment for rent and maintenance fee for houses in these tenements for the months of May, June, and July 2020.

The state government had made a formal announcement regarding the extension of dates for payment of the fee for the houses constructed only by the TNHB, while TNSCB was not included in it. As there was no formal announcement regarding the extension of dates for payment of rent people in the resettlement sites were worried about paying especially in the absence of any income.

While they have appealed to the board to waive off the amount or atleast extend the dates by a few months, they are yet to receive any response.

Managing director of TNSCB Kirlosh Kumar did not respond to any calls or texts and also refused to reveal any details in this matter when TOI visited him.



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