The Greater Chennai Corporation has started demolition of houses constructed on Poromboke land in Kolathur for the construction of a flyover near Villivakkam station.
The flyover, which will eliminate the first level-crossing on the stretch from Central Railway Station, is expected to be completed in eight months.
Residents, who have been protesting against the demolition, were asked to vacate the property. Over 60 buildings have been demolished so far.
P. Ramadas, 65, a resident of Avvai Nagar First Street, said on Monday that his house was originally not marked for demolition as the officials wanted only 11 metres on either side of the bridge. Many such residents had been demanding patta for the land on which their houses had been built.
“Some residents got patta in the area. So, we were expecting the government to give us patta. But the officials have decided to demolish all the houses on poromboke land. We have been living in the area for 58 years. We had built houses on 1,200 sq ft of land. We request the government to give us proper compensation and alternative accommodation. Officials have not informed us about the alternative housing for us,” said Mr. Ramdas.
Deva Jawahar, former councillor, said the bridge was expected to provide road connectivity between Anna Nagar and Kolathur. “A few political party functionaries spoke to the residents and instigated them to oppose the project, misleading them,” Mr. Jawhar said. “The residents, whose houses had been demolished, will receive compensation. The houses were built on poromboke land. But the government will give alternative housing for the residents. The bridge infrastructure projects in addition to the hospitals and colleges will transform Kolathur,” he said.
“We have urged residents to support the infrastructure projects,” he said.
The civic body planned to beautify the area in the vicinity of the new bridge, the officials said.