The National Green Tribunal’s principal bench has restrained a number of State agencies from dumping garbage in the Pallavaram ‘periya eri’.
“The Tribunal is able to see a prima facie case made out for granting an ex-parte ad interim injunction in view of the warranting fact and circumstances. Accordingly, an ex-parte ad interim injunction is granted, restraining R-1 (first respondent) from dumping garbage at Pallavaram ‘periya eri’ until further orders of this Tribunal,” said the Tribunal’s order, dated September 27.
The order was issued by Justice M. Chockalingam, judicial member and R. Nagendran, expert member, following a petition from S.P. Surendranath Karthik, the applicant, a resident of Ayyappa Nagar in Madipakkam.
The respondents include Pallavaram municipal chairman, chairman and district environmental engineer of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), Kancheepuram district collector, secretaries, departments of municipal administration and water supply, public works, revenue, environment and forests and the district magistrate, Kancheepuram.
In his request to the Tribunal, Mr. Karthik had appealed for a permanent end to the illegal dumping of garbage and setting up of a monitoring committee including residents as members to immediately ascertain the damage caused to the water body and also ensure proper implementation of the Tribunal’s order.
Enclosing a number of documents obtained from different government agencies under provisions of the Right to Information Act, Mr. Karthik said that the lake, measuring around 300 acres, served as a water resource for drinking and irrigation purposes. The petitioner, who had also enclosed news reports published in The Hindu highlighting the condition of the lake in support of his petition, pointed out that whatever was left of the water spread area in the southern portion of the lake had become toxic.
Mr. Karthik, who along with his relatives including his father K.R. Subramanian, other residents, members and civic groups in Madipakkam had fought hard to protect and preserve the Madipakkam lake, said responses from the various government agencies had clearly exposed their negligence with regard to solid waste management in urban local bodies.
Stating that the first four respondents — the Pallavaram municipal chairman, the Kancheepuram district environment engineer and the chairman of TNPCB and the chairman of Central Pollution Control Board — were “solely responsible for this catastrophe caused to such a beautiful natural resource,” Mr. Karthik said they were liable to pay damages under the “polluter pays” principle.
When contacted, elected representatives and administrators of Pallavaram municipality said they were unaware of the development and were yet to receive anything on record from the Tribunal. They, however, stated the dumping had not started in the recent past and had been happening for many decades now.
The National Green Tribunal started functioning in July 2011. The principal bench is based in New Delhi with circuit benches in Chennai, Bhopal, Pune and Kolkata.