The Madras High Court has directed the Nagapattinam Taluk Tahsildar to ensure that the water body attached to the Dargah in Nagore in that district is returned to its pristine form and shape.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu gave the direction while disposing of a PIL petition from S Saha Syed Sahib (69) of Nagore, on September 9.
The petition challenged a notification awarding a contract to modify the Shifa Gunta (Holy tank of the Dargah) and direct the authorities concerned to take appropriate steps to prevent the destruction and deterioration of Shifa Gunta by shrinking its boundaries in the North, East and South sides for purpose of widening the municipal roads surrounding the tank and order the restoration of same.
"In repeated orders, this court has appealed to all government officials to ensure that the water bodies and forests that remain in the State are not destroyed or reduced in the area any further," the bench pointed out. It directed the petitioner to submit a fresh, detailed representation pertaining to the matter complained of to the Tahsildar within 15 days. The official should inquire into the same after following the procedure established by law and issuing notice to any encroachers found to be squatting in or around the water body.
He should make every endeavour to ensure that the water body is returned to its pristine form and shape. At any rate, he should undertake to forward his reasoned decision in the matter to the petitioner and others affected thereby within twelve weeks of the receipt of the petitioner's written representation, the bench added.
The bench made it clear that the allegation of encroachment has not been gone into and it will be for the Tahsildar to ascertain the facts before taking action, in accordance with the law.