CHENNAI: It has been seven months since an illegal road was laid over the eco-sensitive Muttukadu backwaters falling in Tiruporur taluk in Kancheepuram district apparently to provide direct access to posh bungalows that are constructed violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.
Though, the district administration has acknowledged the illegality, no action has been initiated to evict the encroachment.
The lagoon on East Coast Road (ECR), 30 km from Chennai, connects Muttukadu sea mouth and plays a vital role in draining flood waters into sea when monsoon is at its peak. The 12 feet wide and 100 metre long illegal road is virtually acting as an impediment to free flow of water.
Following an Express report, Kancheepuram district administration had written to the office of Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order), South, seeking police protection to remove the illegal road. Besides, the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and Tiruporur taluk tahsildar, who visited the spot, also had written letters for police protection. However, no further action had been initiated.
Scientists of Central Institute of Brackishwater Acquaculture (CIBA), who run an experimental station at Muttukadu and the custodian of the water body, have been running from pillar to post with memorandums and waiting for police help.
“We have met all the authorities concerned, from Fisheries Secretary to the jurisdictional Kanathur police station inspector. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death, Jallikattu protest and cyclone ‘Vardah’ had delayed the eviction process. Now, we want to meet Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Fisheries Secretary, again ” an official said.
Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) here, which took up the issue as well as illegal construction of luxury bungalows, had ordered the State government to probe the alleged coastal zone violations and submit a report on February 21. The tribunal asked the authorities to remove the illegal road, but the State machinery had not complied.
The Chennai Rivers Restoration Trust, which was asked to submit a report, had not filed it yet.