CHENNAI: Censuring the state for failing to act against illegal buildings, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the Chennai corporation commissioner to appear before it to explain the action taken by the civic body.
The court observed that the state has not learnt any lessons from the 2015 floods when the city was underwater and despite several judgements pronounced by several courts, officials are yet to take serious action on them.
Pulling up the state and the Chennai Corporation, the bench also warned that it would summon the Chief Secretary if required.
The two-member bench comprising justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha passed the directions on a plea moved by an advocate N Rukmangathan seeking action against 5,674 unauthorized constructions that have sprung up in the city over several years.
Submitting documentary evidence obtained through the RTI Act, the petitioner stated that in Royapuram alone, divisions No 49 to 63 in Zone V showed a blatant selective approach adopted by the Corporation authorities.
There are 5,674 deviations out of which only 1,191 Stop Work notices were issued under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1971 and action was initiated only against 115 of them by the corporation, he added.
"If Zone V contains nearly 5000 buildings in violation of rules, then there would be close to 75,000 to 1,00,000 buildings which are constructed in violation of the building rules all over the 15 zones of the Chennai Corporation," stated the petitioner.
The bench recorded the submissions made and directed the counsel for the corporation to file an action report.
"If the city alone had several encroachments, then the whole of Tamil Nadu will have more of them. However, the authorities are failing to act on them," pointed out the bench.
The bench adjourned the plea to December 22 for the Corporation Commissioner to file a detailed report on the action taken.