CHENNAI: The State government on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that 403 encroachments have been identified along the Chitlapakkam lake and that action has been initiated to remove them soon.
The encroachments were found spread over 83.89 acres of the waterbody classified as eri.
Out of the 403 encroachments, 374 are by way of housing sites, government pleader V Jayaprakash Narayanan submitted. The State government also said that notices have been issued to the violators under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act, 2007.
The submissions were made on a plea moved by NGO Arappor Iyakkam. According to the petitioner, it wanted to protect the Chitlapakkam lake, spread over 101.4 acres by forming a bund around it along with a pathway, by removing the encroachments.
The NGO had also sought to restrain officials from converting the lake and its adjoining areas into a park, landfill or garbage dump, and have the waterbody subsequently connected with the lakes at Selaiyur and Sembakkam. The First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy adjourned the plea to eight weeks for the State government to file a status report.
Earlier, the Bench had observed, “...the cities would die if waterbodies are killed, and even flats are now getting flooded because they are choked. There is a complete lack of intention on the part of the State to protect waterbodies. We would like to see earthmoving machines being deployed to remove such encroachments.”