NGT bans construction in Porur lake

December 23, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 11:38 am IST - CHENNAI:

In an order aimed at protecting one of Chennai’s drinking water sources, the National Green Tribunal’s southern bench here has directed officials concerned to ensure that no construction activity is undertaken in the Porur lake. Besides, it has banned private parties from drawing water from the lake.

Disposing of a plea filed by V. Meganathan, the NGT Bench comprising Justice P. Jyothimani and expert member R. Nagendran also directed the Public Works Department to remove the bund it had put up in the lake. The bench also referred to a recent order of the Madras High Court that no construction should be allowed on water bodies.

Special Government Pleader Abdul Saleem submitted that the bund, which was demarcating the low-lying areas belonging to a private institution from the Porur lake, was presently under water due to the recent rains and would be removed once the water receded.

In October the bench had placed the case before the Principal Bench in Delhi, after it received a letter levelling corruption charges against the southern bench.

Mr.Meganathan had earlier moved the NGT contending that the PWD was filling a stretch of the lake to create a bund and sought a direction to authorities to protect the water body, which was fast depleting.

The lake spreading over 200 acre with a capacity of 46 million cubic feet is also the temporary catchment area linked with Chembarambakkam lake and four filters pump water into K.K. Nagar double tank distribution point, the applicant had submitted.

He had alleged that a private institution had installed a notice board claiming ownership of 17 acre of the lake and sought a direction to the PWD to retrieve the land to keep the water body intact. The applicant had also recalled a statement by a PWD official that a portion of the lake was handed over to a private Trust in 1986.

The lake, which once spread over 800 acre, now measured only 330 acre as per revenue records.

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