One year timeline for removing Buckingham canal encroachments

The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala passed a slew of directions for restoring the Buckingham canal to its original state.
Buckingham canal
Buckingham canal

CHENNAI: Observing that encroachments are a direct reflection of the failure of the government to provide the basic need of shelter to the poor, the Madras High Court grants a one-year time limit for removing all the encroachments from the Buckingham canal.

The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala passed a slew of directions for restoring the Buckingham canal to its original state. The directions were issued by the court on disposing of a petition filed by Kasthuribha and Indira Nagar Residents Welfare Forum.

The petitioners sought direction to the government to remove all the encroachments from the Buckingham canal. After hearing the arguments, the judges passed several directions in connection with restoring the water body.

The judges were directed to complete the demarcation works to identify the exact length and breadth of the Buckingham of Canal within six months and remove all the encroachments except the MRTS pillars within 12 months.

“We make it clear that under no circumstance, the timeline will be extended. All the officials responsible for not keeping the timeline will be made accountable for such lapse irrespective of whether they are in service or retired, ” the judges noted.

The court further noted that as and when the encroachments are removed the Inland Waterway Authority of India will protect and maintain the Buckingham Canal free from any encroachment and the State Government shall provide necessary assistance to IWAI.

“It is the duty of every citizen to protect and improve the national environment and national Assets like Rivers, Canals, Water bodies, etc. Forests, rivers, water bodies, wildlife, etc. are our national wealth and they do not belong to an individual, Government or Authority. The Government is the custodian of this wealth and as beneficiaries of this wealth, it is as much our duty as that of the Government to preserve and treasure our natural resources and environment for posterity, ” the judges held.

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