CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has passed an interim order directing the State government not to allow construction on water bodies in the State.
A division Bench of Justices SK Agnihotri and P Devadass gave the direction, while passing an interim order on a public interest writ petition from Iyarkai Valam Matrum Perumballa Odai Padukappu Nala Sangam (Welfare Association for the Protection of Perumballa Stream and Natural Resources) filed by its president K Shanmugasundaram of Kathirampatti village, Erode district on December 16.
Even though the petitioner confined the prayer to protect the water body in the village, the Bench, taking into account the monstruous ill effects of constructing on water bodies, ordered that there shall not be any permission for any construction in any manner on the water bodies anywhere in the entire State of Tamil Nadu till January 18 next year.
The petitioner association was formed for purpose of protecting Perumballa stream, the only source of irrigation in the area. The stream also drained water in case of floods after heavy rains. The village was facing the danger of being submerged because of obstructions and encroachments on the waterway.
In 2009, the High Court had directed the tahsildar to remove the obstructions in the stream. However, the tahsildar not only did not but also joined hands with the local revenue inspector and VAO and dumped waste on the water body.
The petitioner alleged that the District Collector and PWD engineers were not taking any step to stop the stream from disappearing and to ensure its restoration to its original state by desilting and removing encroachments.