Chennai: Proving that they mean business, the Tamilnadu Housing Board (TNHB) authorities in association with police, sealed almost all the shops at its complex at Ashok Nagar in the city on 21 August.
The State Bank of India office, Amutham and Kamadenu Department stores are spared and they are expected to vacate soon.
The TNHB complex, a landmark at Ashok Nagar, will be pulled down and a glittering new mall will come up. Built in 1974, the ground-plus-two floors building spread across two-and-a-half acres, has 72 shops at present.
TNHB had issued notice to the shops a year ago and now has sealed the shops. However, this has not gone down well with those who were running the shops.
“The authorities did not keep of their promise of giving us an allotment order letter assuring to accommodate us once a new mall is built,” said Tamilnadu Housing Board Shop Owners Association secretary Yogam Ravi.
“We have been paying the rent and other taxes up-to-date for the last 40 years. We communicated this to TNHB Managing Director Shambu Kallolikar at his office when we met him. They assured to look into our request. But, now they have not kept their promise,” claimed Ravi.
When the issue was taken up with a TNHB official, he said,”We did not give any such assurance. It can be considered only for the original owners at the complex. Many of them are now tenants.”
Countering the officials statement, Ravi said the TNHB was running a complex at P T Rajan Salai, K K Nagar.
The complex was demolished and it has been given to Bureau of Immigration. The TNHB had communicated through a letter (20/6/2018) to Executive Engineer at K K Nagar Division to accommodate 11 shop-keepers (sub-tenents) in the proposed demolition and reconstruction of shopping complex at Ashok Nagar as per the rules and regularisation of TNHB on priority basis at the time of implementation of the scheme.
The same can be followed in our case, where 14 shop-owners have been running the business so far, Ravi said.
“We expect good response from the TNHB authorities and we are yet to decide the next course of action,” he added.
According to the proposed plan, 14 floors will come up comprising 120 shops and 224 houses. The entire project is said to cost around Rs 180 crore.
“The residential-cum-commercial mall, once constructed, will attract more people,” said a senior TNHB official.