Justice SM Subramaniam passed the direction on disposing of a petition by one P Singaravelu, a resident of Tulasingapuram village near Nandambakkam in the outskirts of the city.
“Wherever the defence lands are under encroachment, then the State government is bound to evict the encroachers and hand over the lands to the defence department for the purpose of development of defence activities,” the HC ruled.
The petitioner alleged that there are around 2,000 families belonging to SC, ST communities are residing in the Tulasingapuram area, where the Defence Department is raising a compound wall on land provided to them by the district authorities in 1987. The activity is obstructing the public to access the main road from their locality, according to the petitioner. He wanted the government to stop the construction of the compound wall and register the land in the name of Chennai city corporation.
However, the standing counsel for the Defence Department stated that as per the revenue records, the defence department is the owner of the land. “Since OTA is functioning inside the premises, the security is of paramount importance. In the absence of a compound wall, it would be difficult for the defence authorities to protect the defence property,” defence department’s counsel A Kumaraguru submitted.
T Geethanjali, the advocate commissioner, in the case has submitted that the construction of the compound wall by the defence department will not have any correlation with the petitioners' access to Butt Road.
“The residents of Tulasingapuram would have access to Butt Road through Karumariamman Koil Street as before without any disruptions,” she submitted.
C Selvaraj, the Additional Government Pleader, appeared for the revenue department submitted around 200 families have encroached on the government land in that particular area. On recording the submissions, Justice Subramaniam allowed the defence department to erect the compound wall near the OTA citing security reasons. The court asked the State to remove encroachers and provide them alternate accommodation through the public welfare schemes.