Ooty: While the Madras high court, in a case related to encroachments in the bus stand area in Coonoor town in Nilgiris, has “instructed” the district administration to stringently act to evict all encroachments in the hills, including those on water bodies and water resources, now, the hill residents and social activists expect a good string of actions from the administration to remove all such encroachments.
Stating that the high court’s order has come as a blessing in disguise to recoup the lost ecology of the water sources in the Nilgiris, Mr.S. Manoharan, president of the Coonoor Consumer Protection Association and vociferous green campaigner, said that the High Court has in its order on encroachments in Nilgiris observed: “Encroachment is a social evil. Encroachment causes infringement of rights of all other citizens. Encroachment creates a bad precedent in the minds of people
that no action will be taken in the event of encroaching the public land. Thus, the authorities competent must be vigilant over the public lands, water bodies and water resources”.
Mr. Manoharan further added that the Nilgiris district administration should form a special committee along with green and social activists to identify the water sources in village limits that have been encroached and remove them.
S. Ananthakrishanan, social activist and senior member of Citizens’Forum of Coonoor (CFC)’said that encroachments be it on revenue or municipal land or on water body are ill to hill environs as they have shrunken the roads, pathways, and blocks the groundwater recharge and water flow too. Coonoor town limits is the perfect example for the ill-effects of the encroachment, he lamented.
The already small bus stand area has further shrunk by encroachments along the edge of the bus stand in Coonoor. The buildings on encroached lands are precariously built on fragile slopes along the channel there as well as along the nearby Krishnapuram channel, he pointed out.
Echoing the same tone, Mr.Rajeshkumar James, secretary of the CFC, said that same is true in the case of encroachments in other areas like the TDK road and other places in Coonoor including Brook lands area.
Stating that Ooty town limits is second to none in encroachment issues, Mr Janardhanan, president of the Ooty Town Public Awareness Association, wanted the district collector to personally inspect across the town limits to enlist the encroachments to remove them.The encroachments are on rise in Boat House road for instance, besides in Burnfoot lake, he added.