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Make officials accountable for waterbodies: HC to Chief Secy

Political and other considerations should not come into play when it comes to government land and waterbodies, the Madras High Court held on Friday and directed the Chief Secretary to create awareness among all country and town planning authorities in protecting them and making them accountable for the same.

Make officials accountable for waterbodies: HC to Chief Secy
Madras High Court (File Pic)


Reiterating its concern over TN government’s failure in keeping water bodies free of encroachments, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoo-rthy said: “In the fitness of things, particularly Chennai corporation should be reminded that the waterbodies are the lifeline of a metropolis or township. Every inch of such space is the lungs of any congregation of human habitation. No effort should be spared to spot any further encroachment on any water body in and around Chennai and elsewhere in the State.” 

However, disposing of the public interest litigation, which sought to restore the water bodies which had gone missing in an around Injampakkam as not maintainable, the bench led by the Chief Justice said: “It is impossible to review old revenue records to discover the exact location of water bodies and to undo the construction that has come up. Even if multistorey buildings are demolished the said waterbodies could have turned irreparable.” 

The petitioner Pon Tangavelu of Injampakkam had submitted that 27 waterbodies had become untraceable due to encroachments. His counsel AP Suryaprakasam submitted that waterbodies remained only on paper and in its place stood several multi-storey buildings.

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