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Don’t register lands classified as waterbodies, need to protect them: High Court

On hearing a batch of writ petitions seeking direction to the State to recover the encroached water bodies and protect them for the sake of future generations, the Madras High Court has passed an order on Monday with several directions to the registration department asking it not to register lands which were classified as water bodies.

Don’t register lands classified as waterbodies, need to protect them: High Court
Madras High Court


After marathon hearings, the first bench of the Madras High Court of the Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari sitting with his adjudicating judge PD Audikesavalu has passed the orders in view to save the water bodies from the encroachment.

“The registration department should never register land which was already classified as a water body. The authorities should check before initiating the registration procedure to protect the water bodies from the illegal encroachments,” the bench said while dictating the orders.

The judges also made a crucial direction to the registration department that it should not register any land if the applicant fails to provide a declaration that he/she is not applying for a water body to be registered as a Patta land.

“The applicant shall give a declaration for the lands which they prefer to register to state that it was never been a water body. If such declaration is not provided, registration should be avoided. Also, the Tangedco and local administration shall not provide power and water connection to people who fail to provide such undertaking,” the HC remarked.

The court also noted that the State should take steps to retrieve the encroached waterbodies. “If any constructions were made on the land which was classified as the water bodies, the competent authorities shall initiate prosecution / disciplinary actions against the officials who granted the approval/permission for the construction works,” the court noted.

Recently, V Irainabu, the Chief Secretary to the state has filed a counter-affidavit explaining the roles of the various departments to prevent water body encroachment and the actions initiated to recover the water bodies in all the districts.

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