Besant Nagar elders being threatened by land sharks

By Balasubramani Muniyandi Published on Apr 05, 2017 03:38 PM IST

Chennai: Senior citizens residing at Besant Nagar say they are living in constant fear as they are being threatened by land-grabbers.

Elders who spoke to News Today alleged that they are becoming soft targets for realtors who come in the name of doing joint ventures and get the documents signed from senior citizens and cheat them.

The area which is the latest target for land-grabbers is said to be the Government Officials Cooperative Housing Society (GOCHS) at Besant Nagar.

The GOCHS which was formed in 1970 by the then government officials is one of the largest housing societies in Chennai with over 200 flats. Prof V Chandrasekhar, a resident, said the average age of the flat owners is 80 and most of them are living alone.

He said the grabbers are targeting the area as the land value has drastically increased over the years and there is enough land attached to the flats. On the approach of realtors, Chandrasekhar said builders try to lure senior citizens staying alone asking them to vacate their flats and agree to a joint development.

"The builders promise to build a bigger flat for the senior citizens at no cost. However, rarely does this happen. The moment the flat owners agree to joint development and sign on the dotted line, the builders vanish with the document," he said.

He said at times if the resident resists the JV, the builders use strong arm tactics to get the work done. "I was approached by such builders and when I declined their proposal, my sewage lines were cut and I was threatened and humiliated," he said.

Chandrasekhar said since it is the senior citizens who are residing in the area, they are scared to go to the police and feel helpless. "I have sent written appeals to the Chief Minister's cell and the police more than six months back, mentioning the names of the land-grabbers. Nothing seems to be happening," he said.

"My wife and I have been receiving threat calls every day and we want to bring this problem to the limelight even at the cost of our dear lives," he said.

When News Today contacted Adyar Deputy Commissioner of Police, P Sundaravadivel, he said the issue has not been brought to his notice and necessary action will be initiated if a formal complaint is lodged.