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HC slams govt, suggests new dept to safeguard waterbodies
The Madras High Court has yet again come down heavily on the State government for failing to check encroachments on waterbodies, and asked it to create a separate department for safeguarding waterbodies.
A division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha took strong exception to officials’ lethargic approach to encroachments despite various directions by the courts.
Citing the large number of petitions landing at the court over encroachments on waterbodies as a reflection of government apathy and inaction, the bench slammed the government for not even initiating departmental action against officials who aid such encroachments.
The bench suo motu included the Secretaries of Home Department and PWD, and the Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation in the case, and directed them to submit a report on the action taken in keeping waterbodies free from encroachment within four weeks.
The bench on Thursday was hearing a plea moved by Kalaiarasi of Dharmapuri alleging encroachment in a Odai Paramboke at Chinnamanur Chavadi by a few persons who had resorted to farming.
A petition was submitted to the District Collector last June seeking to remove the encroachment on government land but there was no action yet, forcing her to approach the court, the petitioner added.