HC orders notice to PWD Secretary and four Collectors

Two public interest litigation (PIL) petitions have been filed in the Madras High Court bench here seeking directions to the Public Works Department (PWD) to clear encroachments and clean up Vaigai and Kiruthumal rivers.

A Division Bench comprising Justices R. Sudhakar and S. Vaidyanathan on Monday ordered notices to the Secretary of the Public Works Department and the Collectors of Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram and Theni districts based on the petitions filed by K.K. Ramesh, managing trustee of the Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation.

According to Mr.Ramesh, the Kiruthumal and the Vaigai are polluted by sewage and garbage, which also pose a serious threat to the health of the public.

The ancient Kiruthumal river had “disappeared” because of encroachments and pollution, he claimed. Several water resources such as irrigation tanks and irrigation wells had dried up because of pollution and encroachments on the river, he added.

Illegal sand mining activities, pollution and encroachments on Vaigai river had affected agricultural activities in Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram and Theni districts, Mr.Ramesh claimed.

The State government must clean up the river and take preventive actions against pollution, he pleaded.

The petitioner added that he submitted representations to the Secretary of the PWD on November 14, 2013 to take necessary action and revive the rivers, but no actions were taken. Therefore, he moved the court, he claimed.

The cases were adjourned by two weeks.

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