Jaya's iconic residence to be acquired for memorial

Chennai, May 6 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu government has formally commenced the process of acquiring the sprawling three-storeyed residence of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, 'Veda Nilayam' here, to convert it into a memorial.

A Rs 50 crore phoenix-themed memorial was already coming up for the late AIADMK general secretary at the Marina, where she was laid to rest following her demise on December 5, 2016.

On Wednesday, the Chennai Collector issued a notification to acquire the plush property at the upmarket Poes Garden locality here, for 'public purpose' and said the project involves no displacement of individuals.

The legal heir for the building is yet to be ascertained, it said.

'This project does not involve the displacement of any families or relocation. There are no project affected families and hence no question of relocation, resettlement and rehabilitation of the affected families,' it said.

'Therefore it is declared that no area was identified as resettlement area for the purpose of rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected families,' the notification added.

Two mango trees, a jackfruit tree, five coconut trees and five banana trees lend much greenery to the structure.

A plan of the land may be inspected in the office of the Land Acquisition Officer and Revenue Divisional Officer, South Chennai Revenue Division, Guindy on any working day.

Fondly addressed as 'Amma', meaning mother in Tamil, by her supporters, Jayalalithaa died in December 2016 after receiving treatment at the Apollo Hospitals for 75 days.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami had earlier announced that the plush bungalow would be converted into a memorial.

Last year, a report by the Chennai district administration had said the government's decision to convert the late AIADMK supremo's residence into a memorial was 'most appropriate.' Since Jayalalithaa 'was a phenomenal woman leader in a male-dominated society and a role model for women across the country, the decision taken by the state government to convert her residence into a government memorial is the most appropriate one,' the report in August last said.

As Jayalalithaa lived in 'Veda Nilayam' for over 30 years till her final days, 'this would be the appropriate place for memorial. Shifting it elsewhere would hurt the sentiments of people,' it had said.

The decision taken to acquire 'Veda Nilayam' to convert it into a memorial had been made on fair grounds and for the welfare of the public, it had then stated. PTI COR SA ROH ROH