Tamil Nadu

Don’t proceed with checkdam construction without CRZ clearance, NGT tells Tamil Nadu

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Tamil Nadu government not to proceed with the construction of a checkdam at Parakani in Kanniyakumari district across the Thamirabarani without getting CRZ clearance, while stopping short of ordering the removal of the construction done thus far.

The Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen had moved the NGT for a direction to the government to stop the construction as it had affected the groundwater quality. They also highlighted the possibility of certain areas getting submerged and the livelihood of fishermen getting affected.

The State government submitted before the NGT that there were a lot of complaints received from the local community that on account of the intrusion of saltwater into the river during the high tide season, the salinity of water had increased, making it unfit for any purpose. Also on account of the construction of a fishing harbour at Thengaipattinam, the locals were facing certain difficulties, and there was a necessity for construction of a checkdam. The government said 34% of the work had been completed.

The Department of Environment, Tamil Nadu, and a member of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, submitted that the construction was made in violation of the CRZ Notification, 2011, and it fell under the ‘No Development Zone’ and there was certain damage caused to the environment by the construction as the water course had been diverted. The Institute of Remote Sensing submitted a report that the area fell under the CRZ.

The NGT held that the construction of the checkdam in the CRZ without CRZ clearance was illegal, “but taking into consideration public interest and the involvement of the public money, we are not directing demolition of the checkdam”. The Bench said the government cannot proceed with the construction without obtaining CRZ clearance and the State Coastal Zone Management Authority could conduct an enquiry on the environment compensation to be imposed.

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Printable version | Aug 20, 2022 10:49:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dont-proceed-with-checkdam-construction-without-crz-clearance-ngt-tells-tamil-nadu/article65788220.ece