CHENNAI: The Madras High Court had directed the Tamil Nadu government to file its response within four weeks on a plea alleging that the government had transferred about eight acres of Kazhuveli / backwater land to the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) near Buckingham canal at Karappakkam village in Sholinganallur Taluk, Chennai.
While sitting with Justice N Mala on the first bench of the Madras HC, Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari passed the direction on hearing the plea filed by IH Sekar, an activist from Injambakkam, Chennai.
The petitioner prayed for a direction to quash the order of the state government dated May 16, 2014, transferring eight acres of Kazhuveli land to the Indian Statistical Institute.
“About 38 acres of land in Karapakkam Village, Sholinganallur Taluk, Chennai district, is shown as backwaters in the revenue records. The concerned land lying adjacent to Buckingham Canal is a wetland which the government including Tamil Nadu Wetland Authority is legally bound to protect and preserve from alienation, reclassification, or conversion into alternate uses, ” the petitioner submitted.
He further stated that the government had illegally transferred eight out of the 38 acres to the Indian Statistical Institute.
“Buckingham canal acts as a shield to Chennai city by receiving excess water from the Pallikaranai Marshlands and discharges the same to the Bay of Bengal. It also helps to avoid/mitigate the effects of floods during excess rains and high tides such as tsunamis. However, surrendering such a place to build construction is unconstitutional and against the orders of Madras HC in several writ petitions, ” the petitioner added.
Recording the submissions, the judges directed the state revenue department and Tamil Nadu Wetland Authority to file their counter within four weeks.