CHENNAI: Cracking the whip on rampant illegal constructions at the ecologically-sensitive Pulicat, the State forest department stayed a mega residential project that proposed to construct rows of villas on the sea front of the lake.
The action came following a series of reports in Express, including one on July 28 that detailed the real estate developments in the area, including the under-construction township coming up within the Pulicat sanctuary.K Geethanjali, wildlife warden, Chennai, told Express that a team has been sent to probe the allegation that construction was taking place within the Pulicat sanctuary boundaries.
“About 13 villages under local panchayat limits are part of Pulicat sanctuary, which is a no-development zone. Traditional fishermen in the area can carry out bona fide activities, but building permanent structures for commercial activities is prohibited. We issued notices and works have been stopped,” the official said.
Construction has reached almost halfway at a resort with villas and at least two residential townships on the beach front of the lake and dangerously close to the lagoon. Rows of customised villas are planned at Vairavan Kuppam, one of the fishermen villages within the sanctuary. Three villas are nearing completion while six others and a restaurant are under construction.
What happens to the half-built structures?
These buildings cannot be demolished immediately, said wildlife warden Geethanjali, adding that a case has to be filed first. Staying the constructions is one part, but now restoring the original characteristics of the place is critical