A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the water body cannot be dismantled and has to be maintained as such under the applicable statute (TN Protection of Tanks and eviction of encroachments Act, 2017) and binding judgements of the Supreme Court.
“We issue notice to the State of Tamil Nadu through Chief Secretary, who may coordinate with the concerned Departments and file a response within one month by e-mail.
“Notice may also be sent to the District Magistrate, Madurai for his response, if any, which may also be furnished by e-mail within one month,” the bench said.
The tribunal said that pending further consideration, status quo may be maintained at the site in the matter of creating any third-party rights and using the property for any other purpose than as a water body.
The matter is listed for next hearing in August 23.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by TN resident A M Vinodh against government order by Revenue & Disaster Management Department, Land Disposal Wing to allot Pudukulam Kanmoi to certain journalists, in violation of law.