Retd judge moves Madras high court against mall in Thiru Vi Ka park

The proposed metro rail line was to be built as an underground construction below the park.

Chennai: A retired judge of the Madras high court and 44 other residents of Shenoy Nagar have approached the Madras high court to forbear the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) from encroaching upon or proceeding with construction work at Thiru Vi Ka Park, Shenoy Nagar, Chennai towards development of an amenities center/mall.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan before whom the petitions filed by Justice K.P. Sivasubramanian and 44 others came up for hearing, ordered notice to the CMRL, CMDA, Chennai Corporation Commissioner, B.L. Kashyap & Sons, after Additional government pleader D. Suryanarayanan took notice for the additional Commissioner of police-Traffic.

The judge posted to January 4, 2019, further hearing of the petition, which also sought a direction to the CMRL to take necessary steps to restore the Thiru Vi Ka park as it existed prior to the handing over of possession to it.

The judge said, “Till then (January 4) there shall be no business activities including usage of heavy machineries between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. and tress grown up above the ground level should not be cut.”

Petitioners’ counsel R. Parthasarathy submitted that the CMRL proposed a plan in August 2008 to construct a part of the metro line through Shenoy Nagar and the park.

The proposed metro rail line was to be built as an underground construction below the park, covering roughly 30 percent of the Park’s area below ground, following which, the CMRL was supposed to begin the process of restoration of the park. Construction in this regard commenced in the year 2011 with the Shenoy Nagar Metro station becoming operational on May 15, 2017. During this period innumerable tress in the Park have been cut down for the metro station work. The same has impacted the environment, altering the very eco system of the locality, he added.

Parthasarathy said in these circumstances, much to the shock and surprise, the petitioners recently learnt that CMRL now proposes to develop a mall comprising shops and food court in addition to the metro station in the park. Without the knowledge of the residents of Shenoy Nagar, the CMRL issued a tender for the construction of an ‘amenities centre’ spread over 21,000 sq.ft as an extension of the metro station, which would occupy significantly more space below the park and whose development would cause irreparable damage to the Park. M/s B.L. Kashyap & Sons has been awarded the works of “design and construction of underground commuter amenities centre at Shenoy Nagar Metro Station including all temporary and permanent structures.

Contrary to the earlier assurances that restoration work on the park would begin by early 2018 and that the residents would be permitted to verify the same at any point, the petitioners were presently not even permitted near the construction site, he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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