: The Madras High Court Bench here has ordered notice to the Madurai district administration on a public interest writ petition seeking to restrain the authorities from acquiring a water body for the purpose of establishing a new integrated bus stand in Thirumangalam.

The petitioner, V.M. Ramachandran, claimed that the Thirumangalam municipality had passed a resolution on November 30, 2012 to acquire 15.31 acres of land near Venkadasamuthiram in Thirumangalam taluk to establish the new bus stand.

However, the owners of the land refused to surrender their lands for the project, the petitioner claimed.

Therefore, on January 30, 2013, the municipality passed a fresh resolution to acquire the Aanai Pappankulam water canal in order to establish the bus stand, the petitioner added. The water canal was a storage point for water from three other canals in Thirumangalam taluk, he said.

“The canal is the main source for the ground water in the locality. The High Court and the Supreme Court have consistently held that the water bodies should be preserved and should not be acquired for any purpose”, contended the petitioner through his counsel N. Sathish Babu. Mr Ramachandran sent representations to the district administration requesting that the plan of acquiring the water body be dropped. He has received no response to his petition.

Therefore, he moved the court seeking to restrain the authorities from acquiring the land, he argued.