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Madras High Court directs survey of forest land given to trust in Nanmangalam Reserve

A division bench comprising judges Huluvadi G Ramesh and K Kalyanasundaram issued the directive on an appeal from the trust against the order of a single judge.

Published: 20th September 2018 03:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2018 03:21 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI : The Kancheepuram Collector, state forest department and director of survey has been asked to undertake survey of the land placed at the disposal of Quaid-e-Milleth Educational and School Trust in Nanmangalam Reserved Forest in Saidapet Taluk and submit a report to Madras High Court on September 26 .

A division bench comprising judges Huluvadi G Ramesh and K Kalyanasundaram issued the directive on an appeal from the trust against the order of a single judge. On August 3, a single judge upheld the action of Tamil Nadu forest department in resumption of the land to an extent of 29.33 acres not utilised by the trust.

The trust submitted that the Forest department issued a GO on January 10, 1975 assigning 40 acres of land in Nanmangalam Reserved Forest, Saidapet Taluk (presently Sholinganallur taluk) and on such assignment, the land was placed at the disposal of the trust for further activities.The trust built an educational building within stipulated two years and the academic activity of Quaid-e-Milleth College for Men at Medavakkam commenced in 1977 and the college was affiliated to University of Madras.

As per the agreement between the government and the trust the entire 40 acres assigned to the trust should be cleaned and that the standing trees and the plantations were to be removed by the forest department or by the lessee. There was a request by the trust to de-reserve the land assigned to them but the authorities of the State submitted that because of the enactment of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 by the Central Government an approval was required for de-reservation of forest land.

The forest department said the actual land used by the trust was only 10.67 acres and the remaining area of 29.33 acres consisting of plantations and wild jungle growth, was not put to use at all by the trust . However, the trust disputed and said it was only  18 acres. The State Government citing the Central Government Act directed the trust not to  carry on their non-forest activity in the remaining portion of 29.33 acres of the reserved forest.  The government had issued an order dated September 25, 2012 to take back the un-utilised land of 29.33 acres by the forest department as per the Central Act. 

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