The First Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday asked the State government to file a status report on how far it had complied with a judgment passed in 2005 issuing a direction “to identify all natural water resources in different parts of the State and take appropriate steps where illegal encroachments have been made.”
Chief Justice M. Yusuf Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam gave this direction when a petition came up seeking a direction to authorities from further encroaching water resources in Ayyanpettai village in Kancheepuram district and to remove encroachments on ponds and tanks.
The Judges asked the Government Pleader to seek instructions and file a counter affidavit in three weeks giving specific reply with regard to the compliance made by the State in respect of the 2005 judgment.
The petition filed by G. Sivaprakasam of Ayyanpettai through his counsel G. Nanmaran alleged that in the past 10 years the panchayat president and anti-social elements had encroached upon ponds and water tanks.
They would contaminate the water by continuously dumping waste materials and garbage. Thereafter, the filled portion was used for other purposes and a portion of it eamarked for housing plots.
He explained that though plenty of ‘poromboke' lands were available the panchayat president was encroaching on water bodies.
“The entire ecosystem is getting disturbed and natural water resources, which help the villagers to meet their day-to-day needs, have been affected.”
No action had been taken despite representations to the Collector.
Mr. Sivaprakasam also recalled the judgment of the Madras High Court in 2005 directing the State government “to identify all such natural water resources in different parts of the State and wherever illegal encroachments are found initiate appropriate steps in accordance with law for restoring such natural water storage resources, which have been classified as such in the revenue records to its original position….”