(G.N.S) Dt. 18
Conversion of residence to memorial moves ahead
In a move that takes forward the process of converting former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence into a memorial, Chennai Collector V. Anbuselvan on Wednesday conducted a joint inspection of two rooms at Veda Nilayam that had been sealed by the Income Tax department.
After the inspection, Mr. Anbuselvan told reporters that the rooms could not be inspected during the first joint inspection (on December 30, 2017). “Today, we carried out the inspection in front of the IT officials,” he said and added that no further inspection was needed.
The Collector, however, refused to answer queries on what was inside the rooms or if I-T officials were present during the inspection. In one of the two sealed rooms, the I-T department had found the report it had handed over to the DGP and the Chief Secretary on the gutkha scam. Mr. Anbuselvan said that work on land acquisition began after the government order was issued to convert the residence into a memorial.
Under the provisions of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the joint inspection team, comprising revenue, public works and land survey departments and DIPR officials, had taken up the work, he said. PWD officials in the joint inspection team were yet to arrive at the value of the house, sources said.
The government expects the process to take four months before Jayalalithaa’s home is converted into a memorial. After Wednesday’s inspection, the I-T department has given the possession of the two rooms to the Chennai Collector, sources said. Once the social impact study is over, there will be a public consultation. In her 2016 election affidavit, Jayalalithaa had stated that the market value of the property spanning 24,000 sq.ft with a built-up area of 21,662 sq.ft. was 43.96 crore.
(G.N.S) Dt. 18