CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has refused to grant any interim stay to the Public Works Department's move to demolish 154 houses on an "Eri poramboke" land near Chitlapakkam. However, the court directed the department to hear out each of the landowners' response to the show-cause notice within four weeks and then decide on the demolition.
The two-member bench comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha passed the directions on a plea moved by a resident who sought the quashing of the show-cause notice issued by the department and also that the authorities be restrained from carrying out the process.
According to the counsel for the petitioner Vijay Anand, residents have been living in the locality for more than 60 years. However, the PWD has issued individual show-cause notices by alleging that they own part of the land which is classified as 'Eri Poramboke'. The petitioner also argued that steps are being taken to evict residents from the land without considering their pleas.
The counsel also said that Chitlapakkam village is notified as 'government poramboke' as per the land records available and the classification by the department that it is a “water body poromboke” is unsustainable.
However, the state argued that the removal of encroachments on water bodies is carried out as per laws and a show-cause notice has been issued to residents to make their representations.
The two-member bench hearing the submissions refused to accept the petitioner's arguments that the long possession of the land is subjected to statutory levies.
Citing an earlier order made by the High Court, the bench observed that the submissions made by the petitioners lack merit and substance.
However, the bench in its order directed the department to consider the representations made by each of the individuals on merits and pass appropriate orders within four weeks.