CHENNAI: While hearing a petition against the construction of memorial on Marina beach and pen monument off shore for former chief minister M Karunanidhi, the southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed state and central governments to submit their responses on the petition, on Friday.
B Ramkumar Adityan, a resident of Thiruchendur, filed the petition against the memorial citing the beach is a nesting ground for Olive Ridley turtles and the memorials will affect the nesting activity.
In the petition, Ramkumar Adityan said that in Chennai Coast, the potential nesting and breeding sites of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle is identified on the Seashore from Napier Bridge to Thiruvanmiyur Transport Office Backside in Chennai District Coast and Kottivakkam to Kovalam Beach in Chengalpattu District Coast in Bay of Bengal.
He also submitted that mortal remains of former ministers Annadurai, MGR, J Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi are laid in the northern end of the Marina Beach. There was no Coastal Regulation Zone notification when Annadurai and MGR were buried.
Pointing out the location of the proposed pen monument, the petitioner pointed out that the proposed site falls under CRZ-1A, CRZ-II and CRZ-IVA areas and green signal has been given by the state level authorities. The proposed site is a sporadic nesting site and 200 to 350 nests along the coastline are found every year.
"If we continue to lay down the mortal remains of the chief ministers in Marina Beach, the world's second largest beach will shrink and lose its fame and glory in near future. Already, considerable sand area of the Marina Beach has been converted as concrete floors and granite floors near graves of former chief ministers, memorials and other buildings. These floors have to be removed and the Beach sand has to be restored to maintain the beach atmosphere in the Marina Beach, " the petitioner said.
The petitioner also prayed the Tribunal to order an interim stay for the construction of Karunanidhi memorial, pen monument, interim injunction against burying of deceased persons on the beach and interim direction to appoint an expert committee to find the violated constructions, including memorials, constructed after January 2011 from Napier Bridge to Thiruvanmiyur and Kottivakkam to Kovalam beach.
When the case came for the first hearing, on Friday, the Tribunal adjourned the hearing directing the governments to submit their replies.
The 42-metre-tall pen monument is proposed to be constructed 360 metres from the shoreline with a bridge linking the monument and the beach at Rs. 80 Crore.
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