An entire street near Korattur railway station has been taken over by unauthorised buildings. Despite a 2007 Madras high court order, the Greater Chennai Corporation is yet to remove the illegal structures that belong to former Ambattur legislator S Vedachalam of the AIADMK and his wife V Mohana.
Due to the construction of a subway at the railway station, the encroachment has come under the spotlight now.
When contacted, Vedachalam said he owned the land upon which the unauthorised buildings have come up. However, revenue department records indicate that the 100m stretch, which is 30 feet wide, is a public road. “The land belongs to me. But now the state government is about to take over my land for construction of the subway, I am fighting to get compensation,” he said.
The illegal structures have come up on the public road (Town Survey No. 32) abutting the South Railway Station Road. Half of the 100m stretch has been encroached upon by Vedachalam while the rest of it has been gobbled up by a private builder.
Vedachalam constructed a commercial building and a cycle stand in 2005, while the builder erected a flat more recently. As the occupants of the illegal structures do not have an approach road, they have made a passageway through the adjoining buildings.
In 2007, the Ambattur municipality deemed the structures illegal and delivered a demolition notice to Vedachalam who challenged the notice in the Ambattur municipal court. In 2009, the Madras high court asked the lower court to dispose the case at the earliest. However, according to a corporation official, Vedachalam stalled proceedings by failing to appear for subsequent hearings at the Ambattur court.