Following allegations that several tall buildings have been constructed around the famed Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Madurai in violation of height restrictions, the Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench has directed the City Corporation to conduct a laser survey of buildings in the vicinity to judge their height.
A bench comprising Justices V Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani gave the interim direction after going through a preliminary report filed by court-appointed advocate commissioners who had inspected a few of the buildings around the temple. The judges said the laser survey should cover buildings located within one kilometre radius of the temple. The civic body must submit a report to the court about buildings which were taller than nine metres high. The Corporation officials must also go through property tax records and inform when such buildings were last assessed for tax for the portion located above nine metres height.
“If a building consists of ground floor plus three floors and the third floor stands over and above the height of nine metres, the information required to be furnished by the Corporation is restricted to the earliest date of assessment of the third floor portion of the building alone.
This will throw light upon the date on which the restricted structures were built - either before or after the GO was issued,” the judges elucidated. Earlier, advocate commissioners S Ramesh and V Sitharanjandas filed an interim report stating during a six-day inspection they ascertained that 547 buildings were constructed in violation of rules. They also sought more time for inspection. Judges gave them 6 more weeks to finish the task.