CHENNAI: The State Assembly on Wednesday witnessed heated exchanges between Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members and ministers over regularisation of encroachments on waterways.
Responding to an issue raised by Geetha Jeevan of DMK, Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar said it was during the previous DMK regime encroachments on waterways were regularised and only because of such wrongdoings, people had suffered from floods.
The Minister further said though it was announced as one-time settlement scheme for those residing in encroachments, the scheme was extended many times and the number of years of encroachment was brought down from 10 years to five years to three years.
Former revenue minister I Periyasamy said the Government Order issued for regularisation of encroachment lands clearly said that waterways were exempted for regularisation. Every year, in the Assembly, MLAs from various parties urged the government to regularise the encroached lands, and hence the then chief minister M Karunanidhi had announced the scheme for regularisation.
However, Leader of the House, O Panneerselvam said in his Periyakulam constituency itself, there were many instances of regularisation of encroachments in waterways.
Leader of Opposition and DMK Treasurer, M K Stalin said the encroached lands were regularised for the benefit of the people and with the approval of State Cabinet. However, there had been a stay given by the Supreme Court in force.
Responding, Panneerselvam said, “Stalin has argued that the regularisation was done for the people and everyone knows who was hiding in the name of public.”
“You have inhabited people who support those lands and then later, regularised those lands,” Panneerselvam added.
Minister for Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports Edappadi K Palaniswami said in Thirunindravur, Government Order was issued to construct 1,781 houses through the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board in a place where there was a lake and the people in that area faced huge difficulties during the heavy rains in December last.