TIRUVANNAMALAI: Collector B Murugesh said, the district administration has plans to establish farm parks in areas adjacent to waterbodies, which were cleared of encroachments recently.
Following the Madras High Court directive, a total of 3,562 acres were found to have been encroached on waterbodies by private parties, who cultivated crops, in Tiruvannamalai district. “We followed proper procedures. Issued notices and also gave them time to remove the encroachments on their own. Finally, when the notice period ended we moved in with earth moving machinery with police protection and cleared 2,185 acres between August 2021 and June 2022,” he told DT Next.
The drive was conducted in coordination with the revenue, rural development, PWD, animal husbandry and police departments. “Once encroachments were removed, works like deepening, desilting and strengthening of bunds will carried out in the retrieved areas,” the Collector said.
While the public have been warned not to encroach upon waterbodies again, police have been instructed to ensure that no one trespassed into the freed areas, an official seeking anonymity added.
However, the administration was wary as encroachment removal in Polur and Vandavasi ran into rough weather when locals vociferously objected to the removal of constructed structures. “The deployment of police at the site helped prevented untoward incidents,” officials said.
Asked when the remaining 1,377 acres of encroachments would be cleared, officials said, “It will take some time as most of them are constructed structures. However, we aim to see that High Court orders are followed in total.”