The State government is expected to submit a detailed report to the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday regarding the condition of the Buckingham Canal.
The bench had asked the government to submit a report on the joint inspection carried out along the 19 kilometer stretch between Tiruvanmiyur and Sholinganallur to study sewage discharge and encroachments. The report should contain details including the steps taken to address the discharge of sewage into the waterbody.
During the last hearing, Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice SP Wangdi and expert member Nagir Nanda noted their disappointment with the lack of progress in resolving the issue.
“South Chennai is dependent on the Buckingham Canal to prevent flooding. The width of canal has been reduced drastically by the rampant encroachment on both sides. It has not been desilted for years together which aggravates the problem further,” Jawaharlal Shanmugam, a Chennai-based activist, said.
Meanwhile, the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT) submitted an interim report which claimed that only 18 big buildings were constructed in the Tiruvanmiyur to Sholinganallur stretch. It also mentioned the lack of underground sewerage system in Greater Chennai, including at Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai, Thoraipakkam, Injambakkam, Karapakkam and Sholinganallur.
In addition, only 50 percent of the discharge into the canal was treated sewage. The case about untreated sewage being discharged into Buckingham Canal was filed in 2015.