Restore Buckingham Canal to its original state, High Court directs government

On noticing the current status of the canal, CJ Bhandari observed that it has shrunk and shattered in many places because of encroachments and the illegal act of dumping wastes and letting sewages run into it.
Restore Buckingham Canal to its original state, High Court directs government
Urban plaza and children park constructed near the Tiruvanmiyur MRTS park, as part of the beautification of the Buckingham canal.

CHENNAI: Observing that Buckingham Canal beautify the city if encroachments and sewage pipelines are removed, the Madras High Court wanted the state government to bring back the old glory of the British era canal.

The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy made this observation on hearing a 2014 writ petition filed by P Saravanan, a member of Kasthuriba and Indira Nagar residents’ welfare forum.

Amicus curiae SR Raghunathan submitted photos and documents to show the current situation of the canal which once ran from Andhra Pradesh to Villupuram district.

On noticing the current status of the canal, CJ Bhandari observed that it has shrunk and shattered in many places because of encroachments and the illegal act of dumping wastes and letting sewages run into it.

“Beautifying the Buckingham Canal will also enhance the elegance of Chennai city. The State government shall take steps to revive and restore the canal by removing encroachments. People also have their role in restoring the canal to its old glory,” the bench observed.

The amicus curiae submitted that the government shall devise a scheme to compensate encroachers while evicting them from the canal side. However, the CJ pointed out that compensating them is an act of encouraging illegal encroachments.

As the matters related to the water body encroachments are to be taken by the first bench on Wednesday, the judges listed this matter along with them.

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