The Madras High Court has reiterated its 2005 order directing the government to identify encroachments on natural water resources in the State and initiate appropriate steps.

In his petition, G. Sivaprakasam of Ayyanpettai village in Kancheepuram district stated that there were more than 16,000 persons living in the village.

They were agriculturists and weavers.

As per revenue records, there were six ponds in the village. The Vegavathi, a small river, passed adjacent to the village. In the past 10 years, the ponds and tanks had been encroached upon.

As a result, the water bodies, which helped the people in their day-to-day needs, had been affected.

In its order, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam, said that so far as the question of removal of encroachments on ponds and tanks was concerned, the matter was discussed at length by a Division Bench earlier.

It had rendered a judgment in 2005 directing the government to identify all such natural water resources in different parts of the State and wherever encroachments were found initiate appropriate steps in accordance with law for restoring such resources to their original position so that the people's sufferings due to drinking water shortage could be ameliorated.

The First Bench said it was disposing of the present writ petition with the direction and observation made in the earlier judgment.

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