Ban on registering properties on waterbodies to be enforced

Registration officials warned of action if they violate rule

Published - November 25, 2021 12:32 am IST - CHENNAI

To strictly enforce the existing ban on the registration of properties on waterbodies, waterways and water catchment areas, the Registration Department has warned Sub-Registrars of disciplinary action if they violate the norm.

After a review meeting convened by Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu in the wake of the Madras High Court’s direction to the State Government to evict encroachments on the Chitlapakkam and Selaiyur tanks and its inflow/outflow waterways in Chengalpattu district, the Registration Department has said that no more registrations should be permitted on waterbodies, waterways, water catchment areas and associated Government poromboke lands, under any circumstance.

In the event of any deviation from the norm, responsibility will be fixed on the Deputy Inspector General of Registration, District Registrar and Sub-Registrar concerned, and disciplinary action will be initiated under provisions of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Disciplinary & Appeal) Rules, 1973. Besides, the concerned officials will also have to face contempt of court proceedings, the Additional Inspector General of Registrations said in an order issued on Tuesday.

Zero value

District Registrars were told to coordinate with the Revenue Department and access their land records software to compile details of all waterbodies, waterways and water catchment areas across Tamil Nadu and fix the value of the land as “zero”, so that there would be no more transactions on the respective survey numbers.

The Madras High Court order in September this year arose out of a petition filed by Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption movement, that the tanks and their inflow-outflow channels were encroached upon and buildings constructed on them, in Chitlapakkam and Selaiyur areas. This was not only lowering the water table but also causing flooding, resulting in loss of life and property.

The latest order of the Registration Department will mean that there will be no more registration of any property built on any survey number, earmarked as waterbodies on revenue records, said a senior functionary of the Tamil Nadu Registration Department Officials’ Association. “Even if the unapproved buildings are regularised by the respective local bodies, the construction remains unlawful, and its value will be reduced to ‘zero’. There are a number of such houses, flats and other buildings constructed on waterbodies across the State...,” he said.

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