Tamil Nadu

Plea challenges CRZ clearance to Jaya memorial

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HC asks Centre, State government to file their replies within two weeks

The Madras High Court on Monday granted two weeks to the Centre as well as the State government to file their counter-affidavits to a public interest litigation petition challenging the clearance granted by the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority for the construction of a memorial for former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the Marina beach here.

The First Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice P.T. Asha also granted one more week thereafter for the PIL petitioner, S. Doraisamy, 76, to file his rejoinder, if any. After hearing preliminary arguments advanced by Advocate General Vijay Narayan, the Bench directed the High Court Registry to list the case for further hearing on July 16.

The State Coastal Zone Management Authority had granted the clearance on March 16 following an application made by the Executive Engineer (Building and Construction Division-I) of the Public Works Department. The application stated that the place where the memorial had been planned to be constructed fell under the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ)-II.

Hence, it required clearance from the authority as provided under a CRZ notification issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2011. The application stated that the total project area was spread over 36,806 square metres on which there was an existing construction (memorial for former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran) on 885 square metres of land.

The proposed additional construction was to be put up on 4,686 square metres. There was a plan to provide vehicle parking space on 1,927 square metres, pathway/hardscape on 9,700 square metres, and water features on 560 square metres of landscaping and greenbelt area on 9,000 square metres besides providing setback/vacant land of 10,048 square metres.

The PWD had also proposed to demolish 630 square metres of existing buildings after retaining the balance of 885 square metres and decided to construct a 1,260 square metre monument situated 15 metres above the floor level. A museum on 795 square metres and a knowledge park on an equal amount of space were also part of the plan.

The estimated project cost was ₹50.80 crore and the District Coastal Zone Management Authority had recommended grant of CRZ clearance for the project on the condition that there should not be any ground water extraction in the zone and proper arrangements should be made for the disposal of solid wastes and sewage generated in the project area.

Subsequently, the State authority discussed the issues in its 99th meeting held on March 16 and cleared the proposal on conditions that the proposed constructions should satisfy the local town and country planning regulations and adequate rain water harvesting structures should be created for water percolation and to harvest rainwater.

It was also ordered that a green belt should be developed by planting trees, shrubs and herbs in the project area in consultation with the forest department. A further condition was imposed that the memorial building should be designed and constructed in accordance with the seismic factors applicable to moderate intensity zones.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 9:44:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/plea-challenges-crz-clearance-to-jaya-memorial/article24256947.ece

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