Row of posh bungalows on Chennai's Muttukadu coast declared illegal

To curb sea erosion, an illegal sea wall has been constructed by the bungalow owners.

Published: 28th November 2019 09:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th November 2019 10:00 PM   |  A+A-

Seawall being constructed by owners of beach-facing luxury bungalows to protect the houses from sea erosion in Muttukadu (Photo | Shiba Prasad Sahu)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Row of posh bungalows on Muttukadu coast, about 30 km south of Chennai, have been termed illegal. The layout is located between Muttukadu lagoon backwaters and Bay of Bengal and is referred to as 'Olive Beach bungalows'. It falls in no development zone as per Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) classification.

This was stated in the report filed by K Chandrasekar, member secretary, Ma mallapuram Local Planning Authority before Madras High Court, which on Thursday has ordered the disconnection of power supply to one of the bungalows that illegally dumped groyne stones to protect the building from sea erosion.

ALSO READ: What CRZ? Seawall built to protect Chennai's ‘illegal’ houses

The authorities have inspected the layout on November 22 and observed that "the unauthorized layout was formed in the no-development zone of 200 m from High Tidal Line (HTL) of CRZ. About 50 plots were existing with 10 m tar road in the unauthorized layout."

Express has reported multiple articles on illegal constructions on Muttukadu coast by influential persons, including Kollywood stars, and how it is stabilising the fragile coastline which under siege by sea erosion. A couple of Olive Beach bungalows on the seafront have already been reduced to rubble. To curb sea erosion, an illegal sea wall has been constructed by the bungalow owners.

As per the available records, an unauthorised construction notice was issued to few Olive Beach buildings existing in the survey number:114 in the Mamallapuram Local Planning Authority way back on October 8, 2012 and subsequently, lock and seal was done on December 22, 2012. Out of six building owners, three owners obtained an interim injunction, two filed writ petitions, which are pending before the high court and one had no case.

ALSO READ: Groyne field lets sea eat up beach in Muttukadu

Another report prepared by assistant executive engineer of Department of Environment, based on inspection conducted by green squad and the Muttukadu Village Administrative Officer, also concluded that the entire layout (S.No 113 & 114) falls within CRZ-III area, where no construction can be permitted except repairs and reconstruction of existing authorised structures between 0-200 meters of HTL of sea for
which prior clearance from Tamil Nadu State Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNSCZMA) must be obtained.

HC suspects officials involvement:

Madras High Court bench, comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee, took both the reports on record and impleaded Principal Secretary of Public Works Department.

Meanwhile, evidence-based on geo-mapping did of the area from 2005 disclosed that many constructions came into being and most of which, prima facie, appears to be unauthorised and in utter disregard and violation of CRZ Notification, 2011.

ALSO READ: Sea in fury overruns bungalow on shores

"It is very sad to note at this juncture despite the subsistence of interim orders from 2013 and 2014, the concerned official respondents have not even taken steps to vacate the interim orders, which prima
facie appears that the concerned officials are in the act of connivance and collusion with the concerned persons, who are alleged to have put up unauthorised illegal structures right in the Bay of Bengal, in utter violation and disregard of CRZ Notification," the bench said.

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