Tamil Nadu

No power, water supply to encroachers on waterbodies, Government tells HC

The State Government on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that it has decided not to provide electricity and water supply to any new encroachment on a waterbody. It has also resolved not to construct any new government building on watercourse poromboke land.

In a status report filed before Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu, Water Resources Department Secretary Sandeep Saxena said Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu had presided over a meeting of top officials on November 2 to discuss the issue. The major decisions taken was not to provide power or water connections to new encroachments, not to construct government buildings on watercourse poromboke land, evolve a policy for protecting waterbodies, instruct all Collectors to evict the encroachers and rehabilitate those who were in occupation for long.

The submissions were made in response to a public interest litigation petition filed by the non-governmental organisation Arappor Iyakkam for evicting the encroachers from the Chitlapakkam lake in Chennai. The government said it had decided to take up the task of clearing the lake as a pilot project. It said 403 long-time encroachers had been identified in the lake and another 63 in Selaiyur. They would be persuaded to move out and the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board was requested to allot tenements to them in Perumbakkam, Potheri and Perungalathur.

The report said the Greater Chennai Corporation had reported to have undertaken restoration of 210 waterbodies. Rejuvenation and restoration of 146 waterbodies had been completed and 38 more would be restored by March 31, 2022. A biometric survey of 4,061 families requiring rehabilitation was under way.

At the meeting, the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department said 5,178 of the 9,802 identified encroachments in corporations and municipalities had been evicted. In town panchayats, though 959 encroachments had been identified in waterbodies, only 13 had been evicted so far.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 2:00:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-power-water-supply-to-encroachers-on-waterbodies-government-tells-hc/article37798705.ece

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