Recording government pleader J Pothiraj’s submission that administrative sanction of Rs 57 crore has already been granted for the project and that the only step left is the clearance from the Union Ministry, a division bench comprising Justice Vineet Kothari and Justice MS Ramesh posted the plea to November 25 for further hearing.
The submissions were made on a public interest litigation moved by Usha of Tiruvallur seeking to direct the State, Central governments to dredge the lake mouth to ensure free flow of sea water into the Lake.
Seeking to direct the authorities to restore the lake to its pristine state and maintain it free from any contamination or pollution, or encroachment, the plea also sought the government to ensure that the upstream course at Tiruvallur was restored and freshwater flow is maintained.
During earlier hearings, the government had submitted that a detailed project report for design of training wall at Pulicat estuary was prepared by IIT-Madras’s Department of Ocean Engineering in 2015 at a cost of Rs 40 lakh. It was also submitted that the temporary bar mouth opening was completed on December 2019, wherein a 230 m long sandbar was created between Pulicat lake and the Bay of Bengal. It has a base width of 50 m and 2:1 slope from the lake to the sea, to a depth of -2.5 m to -3 m from Chart Datum level.
The permanent opening would enable easy flow of seawater, enabling the lake to have more sea life that would benefit fishing as well.