CHENNAI: A PIL petition has been filed in the Madras High Court for a directive to the State government to carry out survey of all the tanks, as defined in the TN Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act 2007 and rules, in all the 32 districts within a time frame to be fixed by the court, to publish the survey details in digital form in PWD portal and to remove encroachments.
A division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and G K Ilanthiraiyan, before which the PIL from activist A Narayanan of Virugambakkam came up last week, ordered notice to the authorities, returnable by August 16. According to the petitioner, during the drought in 2007, a PIL was filed and the High Court passed an elaborate order to alleviate the sufferings of the people. As per the orders of the High Court, the government had enacted the law and rules in 2007.
The Act directed the government to undertake a survey, based on revenue records, of the tanks and to prepare proper charts and registers of the same setting forth the channels, boundaries and marks of tanks. Section 6 of the Act stated that the survey officers, after completion of survey, have to prepare charts and registers for the tanks and the same should be handed over to the PWD for maintenance. As per Section 7, if the tanks are encroached upon, such encroachers shall be evicted by following the due process of law such as issue of notices. It also levied penalties by way of three months imprisonment or fine of Rs 5,000. However, despite passage of 10 years, the objectives set out in the law are not fulfilled, petitioner contended.