The first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose before whom the PIL moved by K P Subramanian, retired professor, Urban Engineering, Anna University, came up on Friday, adjourned it to March 19, after the government counsel sought time to get instructions in the matter.
The petitioner had contended that when the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is unable to perform its statutory duties and enforce the provisions of the Act, 1971, for the existing CMA of 1,189 sq km, it is highly impossible for it to perform its duties for the proposed 8,878 sq km of Chennai Metropolitan Area.
Pointing out that the CMDA with its manpower and institutional network is unable to enforce the provisions of the Act even for Chennai City, the petitioner said the number of litigations pending in courts for building violations and unauthorised construction is an indication. Also, noting that the notification of the proposed expansion is silent on the objective of such an expansion, the retired professor submitted that such expansion is in complete violation of the principles of natural justice and it has not given any opportunity to inhabitants of Chennai City or to the existing CMA to make any objection or representation for the proposed expansion.
Moreover, measurable parameters have not been identified and the monitoring committee which should have met at least once in three months has not met and most studies listed in the master plan have not been carried out, the petitioner said. Under these circumstances, the proposed expansion would only lead to urban sprawl, he added.