Based on the submission made, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose directed the State to file a counter in the case before Friday.
KP Subramanian, a former Anna University professor, 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 kms, it is highly impossible for CMDA to perform its duties for the proposed seven fold expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan area.
Pointing out that CMDA with its man power and institutional network is unable to enforce the provisions of the Act even for Chennai City, the petitioner said the number of litigations pending at the courts for building violations and unauthorised construction is an indication. The retired professor submitted that such expansion is in total 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 have not met and most studies listed in the master plan have not been carried out, the petitioner, who is also an urban engineering expert said. He also pointed out that the performance of the CMDA in the existing CMA is wanting in every aspect-economic development, infrastructure provision, housing, traffic and transportation, development management and others.
Hence under these circumstances, the proposed expansion would only lead to urban sprawl, admixture of land uses, indiscriminate conversion of agricultural lands into urban uses, encroachment of water bodies and haphazard development resulting in the intensification of the degradation of the environment and deterioration of quality life, Subramanian added.