Free water bodies of encroachments: consumer body

Coimbatore Consumer Cause has urged the District Collector to immediately remove encroachments in water bodies in the River Noyyal system, including the structures constructed in Valankulam and Muthannankulam under the Smart Cities Mission.

In a letter to Collector G.S. Sameeran, the organisation’s secretary K. Kathirmathiyon said it was on a case filed by the Coimbatore Consumer Cause that the Madras High Court had ordered removal of encroachments, granted permanent stay on construction in water bodies even if there were approvals and gave a year’s time for removing encroachments.

While granting the stay, the Court said it would monitor the progress made in removing encroachments, directed the Collector to periodically submit compliance report with map and photographs on the progress made in removing the encroachments and also share a copy of such report to the organisation.

Though the case was pending in the Court, the organisation refrained from filing a contempt petition because the civic body had undertaken work under the Smart Cities Mission to remove encroachments.

But now the organisation found that under the very Mission the Corporation itself had encroached upon the water spread area in Valankulam, Muthannankulam to extent of around 150m. The encroachment was a part of the beautification work, which should be removed. The Smart Cities Mission work should be carried only on bunds and not within the water spread area.

In this context, the organisation pointed out that while encroachment removal work had taken place in the nine tanks that the Corporation was working, there was no such progress in the 15 tanks in River Noyyal system.

The 15 tanks maintained by the Water Resource Organisation (WRO) of the Public Works Department were part of the 24-tank River Noyyal System.

It was unfortunate that the WRO officials were unaware of the extent of encroachments as revealed in their replies to queries filed under the Right to Information Act, the consumer organisation said. It was attaching details of the 24 tanks for the administration to remove encroachments and restore water bodies to the original extent.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 2:27:21 PM |

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