CHENNAI: Expressing concern over the contradicting submissions made by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the district collector of Thoothukudi, the Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal on Friday directed the MoEF joint secretary to be present in the tribunal for the next hearing.
The tribunal gave the direction while hearing a petition to desilt the 150-year-old Srivaikuntam dam in Thoothukudi district.
S Joel, Thoothukudi District Secretary of MDMK moved the tribunal stating that the dam had not been desilted ever since it was constructed.
On April 9, the Bench directed Thoothukudi district collector to file a memorandum with the MoEF seeking clearance to desilt Srivaikuntam reservoir and directed the ministry to consider the same.
When the case came up for hearing on Friday, the Bench noted that despite its previous order, the MoEF counsel has filed papers to show that the ministry has not received any communication from either the collector or other State authorities regarding desilting of the dam.
Pointing out the contradiction in the submissions, the bench directed that the officer concerned in the rank of joint secretary of MoEF dealing with the matter to be present in the court for the next hearing.
The matter was posted to May 13, for passing orders.