“Nearly 300 families living at Jailpettai, a slum in Palakarai, face a July 30 deadline to vacate: Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) will soon begin constructing tenements under a housing project that hoped to provide urban slum dwellers with basic amenities. [...]
“Though the residents were initially promised alternative accommodation, they came to know through an RTI application (dated 08.03.2012) that they have to make their own arrangements.
“‘Though there are a few who have managed to find rented houses elsewhere, most of us have not been able to do so,’ says S. Francis, a resident of the slum.
“While a majority of people in Jailpettai, who work as daily wage labourers, cannot afford rented houses in the city, Francis says there is a cluster of other discriminating factors at play.
“‘House owners refuse to give us houses on rent either because of our caste or the fact that we are from a slum,’ he alleges, adding that a majority of them belonged to scheduled caste.
“‘Some managed to get houses on rent by lying about their caste, but they have always been exposed,’ says M. Senthil, another resident. According to him, people who left the slum to move into a rented house have often returned because the house owners found out they lied and even gave back the advance paid.”