COIMBATORE: The dilapidated condition of buildings has become a cause for concern for residents of 960 apartments of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), Singanllur unit.

A month ago, the portico of a house collapsed. Fortunately, no one was hurt. As a result, residents fear that the TNHB could demolish the 30-year-old building.

They also fear that TNHB may increase the height of the four-storeyed apartments to 10-storeyed and sell off the remaining open space for a profit or build more apartments in the open space. This move will reduce the residents’ ownership of the land and make the place more congested, they said.

The apartment units were built in an area of over 17.55 acres in ward 64. “The buildings are dilapidated, walls have cracks and a month back a portico also collapsed,” Tamilmani Pichimuthu, a resident, said. “Last year, deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam inspected it and ordered that the buildings have to be renovated or repaired. However, TNHB seems to be using this opportunity to make a profit out of it by cheating us over our share of space,” he added.

V Manoharan, another resident, said they heard that TNHB has plans to build 10 storey apartments spread over 4 acres, and move all the 960 existing apartment owners there. “They plan to sell off the remaining 11 acres or so for a profit or build larger higher income group apartments in the remaining land. We are against being crammed into 10-storeyed apartments because it reduces our ownership of the land, reduces the open space we have around for all our happy and sad occasions and we are scared that when a three storey apartment can crumble in 30 years, how they plan to maintain a 10-storeyed apartment,” he asked.

The residents demand that TNHB immediately renovate or rebuild their apartments, before people get injured, but in the same positions. “If they want to make a profit or get back the costs of renovating our apartments, let them increase the height of our buildings and sell off the upper storeys for a profit or to new allottees. But we will not agree to be moved into higher floors or storeys than where we are now,” Manoharan added.



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