Remove encroachments from BB Kulam tank, file report: HC

Buildings that were constructed on encroached land at Mullai Nagar in Madurai being demolished.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Madurai district administration to remove government buildings, offices of political parties, places of worship and commercial buildings that were constructed by encroaching upon the BB Kulam tank.

A Division Bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and S. Ananthi directed the authorities to take action and file a status report. The court was informed by the State that 100 shops that were constructed on the tank were already demolished as part of the eviction drive. Several people who had constructed the houses on the water body had rented it out to third parties. The third parties were convinced that they could no longer continue in the said premises and had vacated. But those persons who had rented the premises were keeping it under lock and key, the State said.

Taking note of the submission, the judges observed that if this was the case, the authorities should take steps to demolish those houses immediately. Further, the court took note of the fact that the occupants also comprised people who were below poverty line. Some of them were eligible for allotment of houses constructed by Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board in Rajakoor.

With regard to the other set of people, it was not clear whether they were eligible to get those houses. There was also a group of people who had made payments to the TNSCB and ex-servicemen.

In order to ascertain their status, the court directed the authorities to form a committee with Revenue, Public Works Department and Slum Clearance Board members who will enumerate the details. The court also directed the shifting of a liquor outlet.

The court directed the authorities to file the report, following which it would take a decision. The court adjourned the hearing in the petition filed by BB Kulam - Mullai Nagar Kudiyiruppor Nalasangam.

The secretary of the sangam, S. Pandia Raj, said that the authorities were going ahead with the demolition drive without rehabilitating them.

The demolition drive started after the High Court directed the authorities to remove the encroachments on the tank.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 1:49:13 AM |

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