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Green Tribunal summons Pallavaram Municipal Commissioner

R. Sivaraman
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For dumping garbage in the lake despite an interim order

Garbage dumped in the Pallavaram lake.— Photo: M. Srinath
Garbage dumped in the Pallavaram lake.— Photo: M. Srinath

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Bench, on Thursday directed the Pallavaram Municipal Commissioner to appear before it and explain why the civic body continues to dump waste in ‘Periya Eri’ (lake) in spite of an interim order against it.

Following an application from S.P. Surendranath Karthik, Madipakkam, the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, in September last, granted an interim injunction restraining the municipality from dumping waste in the lake.

The 300 acres-lake, Pallavaram Periya Eri, 7.5 km away from the airport, is a natural resource and the water available in the lake has been of great use for the residents in the area and for migratory birds. The water has been used by nearby villagers for drinking, domestic and other purposes. The lake is the only source for charging and maintaining the ground water for the Pallavaram and adjacent areas.

In his application, Mr.Karthik had said that one of the major water resources for the entire locality was facing problems such as dumping of garbage, encroachment and discharge of effluents from factories in Pallavaram area.

He also alleged that after the construction of Thoraipakkam radial 200-ft road, the lake was split into two parts. In the southern part of the lake, there was no water available as it was filled with garbage. The municipality was solely responsible for depletion of entire southern portion by dumping garbage while water was left over in northern portion had become toxic and inconsumable.

“The entire lake extending about 300 acres has shrunk by sheer act of the local body”, the applicant said. Hence he sought the Tribunal to immediately stop illegal dumping at the lake and other authorities.

While it was holding its sitting in New Delhi, the NGT passed the interim order last September. The later was transferred before NGT, Southern Bench, Chennai.

When the matter was taken up by the Bench comprising judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member R. Nagendran, the applicant’s counsel Kousik Narain Sharma brought to the notice of the Tribunal that the local body still continued to dump despite the interim order.

On hearing his submission and counter filed by authorities, the Tribunal took serious view of the matter and ordered the commissioner to appear on next hearing and explain why its order is not obeyed.

The matter was posted for further hearing on February 26.

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