CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court has pointed out the two different stands taken by the State government in development projects. When a PIL from A P Suryaprakasam, an advocate, challenging the proposed Chennai-Salem Green Corridor came up on Friday, a bench of Justices K K Sasidharan and R Subramanian recalled the writ petitions filed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in 2013.
The petition sought to quash an order passed by the PWD rejecting no objection certificate for laying roads touching the tanks at Kanadukathan, Kovilur-Konery, Sankarapuram, Senjainattar, Kulathur, Keeranur, the Thamarai and Vengai kanmois in Thirumayam, Kundaru and Vallaru rivers. The proposed acquisition was to widen the NH 210 road connecting Tiruchy-Pudukottai-Karaikudi section. The plea was rejected by the State government on the ground that the same would affect the water bodies and pose a problem to the ecology. However, a single judge in January 2014 had allowed the petitions and directed the State to grant the NOC.
However, the division bench did not go further into the matter. They pointed out that in the present case, the petitioner contended that for the Chennai-Salem project thousands of trees would have to be cut and water bodies along several districts will be totally destroyed. It is his grievance that before undertaking such a massive road project, the government ought to have assessed the ecological and environmental effects.
Report on PCB chief
The Madras High Court on Friday directed the State to file a report on the qualifications of Md Nasimuddin, IAS, who is holding the additional charge of Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The bench was hearing a PIL, seeking to declare a GO, which directed Nasimuddin to hold additional charge of TNPCB as its Chairman, as null and void.