Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the authorities that no construction shall be carried out on the Chitlapakkam lake and in the bund area abutting the lake.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M. Sundar gave the directive on a public interest litigation from advocate S. Vaidyanathan, also a resident of the area, which sought a direction to the authorities to repossess the government lands forming part of the Chitlapakkam lake from the illegal occupants, and restore the lake and its tail end areas to its original extent and size and maintain it properly.
According to petitioner, during the monsoon season the Chitlapakkam lake overflows and since there was no proper outlet for the flood water, it enters all the main arterial road and lay-out of the area surrounding it, causing untold hardship to the residents who have constructed houses after obtaining due permission and approvals from the civic authorities. This was all the more grave during the year 2015 during the Chennai floods and the main roads of Chitlapakkam were flooded for almost a week.
The main cause of the misery faced by the residents due to the flooding of the overflowing waters of Chitlapakkam lake was the uncontrolled construction and rampant encroachment on its banks with the apparent connivance of the local authorities who turn a blind eye to the representations made by people like him, he added.
The occupation of the water body was not only illegal, but leading to a growing water shortage in Chitlapakkam and surrounding areas where, approved residential layouts have been developed, about 45000 people residing in this area are dependent on groundwater in the absence of any supply from the Chitlapakkam town Panchayat.
This was in clear violation of the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act, 2007 and also infringing the fundamental right to life and livelihood for thousands of residents, he added....