CHENNAI: Names of several high-profile personalities, including film stars, are likely to be exposed as the Madras High Court on Friday asked the State government to submit details of land owners who have encroached and built palatial bungalows on the ecologically-sensitive Muttukadu seashore.
Express has carried a series of articles on illegal constructions and problem of sea erosion at Muttukadu.
The High Court had taken cognisance of an article in the edition dated May 30, about an unauthorised sea wall being built by encroachers. On Thursday, the court admitted a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an aggrieved local fisherman and issued notices to Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNCZMA), Kancheepuram Collector, Directorate of Town and Country Planning and Mamallapuram Town and Country Planning Authority.
The bench, after looking at the photographic evidence submitted by the petitioner Murugan, directed the authorities to submit details of the encroachers and action taken.
The petition says illegal constructions that have been put up on suvey no. 114, Muttukadu village, on the narrow strip of land between Bay of Bengal and the backwaters, have aggravated sea erosion that eats into the boat parking area of adjoining Karikattukuppam fishing hamlet.
Muttukadu is ecologically very dynamic due to presence of brackish water lagoon, that is maintained by Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), which runs an experimental station in the area. The area where the bungalows are constructed falls in survey number 114 and spread across 32 acres. As per Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011, the encroached land falls in CRZ-3 and is within ‘no development zone’ as it is located inside 200 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL), which is also evident in the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) map.
The petitioner Murugan said due to sea erosion, the entire area is getting eroded. In the last one year, about 400 metres of sandy beach had vanished. “We have submitted a detailed representation on May 31 to the authorities, but no action has been taken. Thiruporur Tahsildar visited the site on June 15 and promised people that they would take action,” he said.
The petitioner has prayed the court to remove the seawall immediately and restore the coast. The bench has posted the case for further hearing on July 4.