A division bench of Madras High Court, comprising Justice TS Sivagnanam and Sathikumar Sukumara Kurup, said SIPCOT should not undertake any construction or works in Katrampakkam lake.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions moved by K Jaganathan, R Munusamy, G Masilamani, A Arumugam, S Govindaraj, R Pachai, R Duraippillai, all residents of Katrampakkam village in Sriperumbudur.
Jaganathan, the first petitioner, submitted that SIPCOT, a State-run company, has encroached on Katrampakkam lake and established industrial estates, easing the road for the establishment of industries.
According to the petitioner, Katrampakkam lake is spread across 51 hectares but the SIPCOT is involved in initiating various industrial activities in the same area. “In 2016, SIPCOT filled a major portion of the lake for constructing a truck parking yard in 10 acres,” the petitioner submitted. The petitioner also stated that SIPCOT has started constructing a fence inside the lake recently.
“Around 45 days ago, SIPCOT commenced the erection of fences inside the lake, fencing off an area of approximately 5-6 acres. This area is close to the bridge on the western end of the lake through which water flows through the bridge into the lake. We represented to the SIPCOT project officer that this was illegal, asking the corporation to desist from encroaching the lake. However, the activity continued, and the erection of fence has been completed,” the petition added.
The petitioners said this would affect the agricultural land and groundwater level as well, and added that immediate action should be taken to remove the fence erected by SIPCOT.
After hearing the submissions, the bench passed a direction to remove the fence erected inside Katrampakkam lake, and also instructed it not to proceed with new works inside the land.