The New Indian Express 21.04.2017
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority projects on lands it doesn’t own
CHENNAI: Even in the bizarre world of bureaucracy, this is unusual. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), the agency that helps plan and guide the development of the metropolis, does not have the patta for most of its key projects, documents available with Express show.
Worse still, it does not have the patta even for the land where its headquarters are situated.
According to information available with this newspaper, the list of infrastructure projects that the agency undertook over the years, without mandatory pattas, include important ones like Koyambedu Wholesale Market, Manali New Town, Maraimalai Nagar New Town Project and even the newly-constructed Madhavaram Bus and Truck Terminal. All these were private lands that were acquired for the projects.
In all, the authority implemented projects in 837 acres of private land without obtaining the necessary pattas, the documents reveal.
Records show that of the 296 acres acquired for Koyambedu market, 125.29 acres is private land for which the patta is yet to be obtained in CMDA’s favour.
Similarly, the new bus terminus project is being implemented at Madhavaram without obtaining the patta for nearly half of the land acquired for the project.
A total of 80.19 acres has been acquired for the bus and truck terminal project, but the patta for 46 acres is yet to be transferred in favour of CMDA, documents reveal.
CMDA’s trouble is worse at the Maraimalai Nagar New Town project that was conceived over four decades ago. The land that was acquired in 1974 to develop a satellite town outside the city to regulate population growth as suggested by the First Master Plan, has hardly put to use.
Of the 2,371 acres acquired for the project, the patta for 376 acres of private land is yet to be transferred to CMDA’s name. Similarly, the patta for 583 acres of government land, too, is yet to be transferred to the authority. As the project stayed in limbo, the land was encroached upon, and previous landowners managed to get a favourable order to denotify the land from acquisition as it was not put to use.
Even the Manali New Town project is stuck. The patta for 291 acres of private land is yet to be transferred, while the pattas for five land records have gone missing. The State housing board had acquired 291.91 acres of land from private land owners through 18 awardings, which have gone missing.