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Madras HC seeks action-taken report on coastal violations

Says coast between city and Pondy taken over by ‘money bugs’

Published: 07th August 2021 06:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2021 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Observing that the entire sea shore, between Chennai and Puducherry, has been taken over by “money bugs” by constructing guest houses and beach houses, the Madras High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the issue and sought an action-taken report.

The bench comprising Justices N Kirubakaran and TV Thamilselvi, while hearing a writ petition pertaining to illegal construction of a compound wall abutting the coastal area, observed that the buildings violated the rights of the fishermen as well as the coastal zone regulations.

“Despite coastal zone regulations being in force, people who have money are merrily purchasing and encroaching upon the coastal area which will affect not only the public but also the environment. Therefore, this court, suo motu, impleads the Member Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority, and Director, Department of Environment,” said Justice Kirubakaran and sought a report as to how many had people violated the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules and what was the action taken.

As per the CRZ Notification, 2011, the area up to 200 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) on the landward side, in case of the seafront, is to be earmarked as “No Development Zone” and no construction shall be permitted except for repairs and reconstruction of existing authorised structures like dwelling units of traditional coastal communities. However, there are hundreds of violations along the coastline. 

Emphasising the need for a comprehensive mapping of violators, Pooja Kumar from the Coastal Resource Centre said the State has constituted District Coastal Zone Management Authorities (DCZMA) for all the coastal districts, responsible for monitoring and enforcement of the provisions of the CRZ Notification and to ensure that the activities within CRZ take place as per approved management plan in their respective jurisdiction.

“Accordingly, the government on April 27, 2011, requested all the District Collectors, who are also the heads of DCZMAs, to identify CRZ violations and initiate action upon the said identified violations as instructed by Union Environment Minister. The same has been reiterated by the Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA) in its 64th meeting held on July 20, 2011. But, so far, nothing has been done,” she said.

Meanwhile, a comprehensive study to assess the impact of hotels, beach resorts, amusement parks and other recreational activities on the coast, initiated by the TNSCZMA, is nearing completion. Several violations have been mapped. “The study focused on the impact of hotels, resorts and other recreational activities along the coast in order to strengthen the monitoring system, developing proper mitigation measures and policy decisions,” officials said.

Many articles
Express had written a series of articles highlighting the issue. In fact, officials had demolished a few illegal bungalows in Muttukadu after the High Court ordered it, based on Express reports



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