CHENNAI: The State government on Saturday informed the Madras High Court that the Marine Environment Impact Assessment Study remains completed for the dredging of Pulicat lake bar mouth and is awaiting the nod from the Ministry of Environment Forests and the Climate Change Department. The court was hearing a plea pertaining to dredging of the bar mouth permanently, to ensure free flow of seawater.
Submissions were made on a plea filed by a Tiruvallur resident seeking direction to dredge the mouth of the lake to ensure free flow of seawater into Pulicat lagoon, which is considered the second largest brackish waterbody in the country.
M Murugesan, Executive Engineer, Fishing Harbour Project Division, in his reply to the court, said the work for dredging the mouth alone cost Rs 26.85 crore. It will start soon after getting the final approval from the Union Ministry of Environment.
The Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai, in March 2020 began to carry out the study and a public hearing was held in September 2020. During the hearing, the entire project was accepted by the villagers and none opposed it. The report was submitted to the State, which forwarded it to the Centre and also called in for tenders to carry out the work.
The entire work will commence once the MoEF and Climate Change Department approve the project, Murugesan said. During the hearing, the Union government’s counsel sought time for getting instructions from the officials. Recording the submissions, a two-member bench comprising Justices Vineet Kothari and MS Ramesh passed the directions seeking the Central government counsel to file a detailed report and adjourned the plea by four weeks.
Housing Secy shifted; moved to Archives Dept
Chennai: The State government on Saturday transferred Rajesh Lakhoni, hitherto Secretary to Housing and Urban Development Department, and made him Secretary/Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research. D Karthikeyan, hitherto Member-Secretary, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, will assume charge as the new Secretary to the Housing and Urban Development Department. The State government has also transferred Shunchonngam Jatak Chiru, Commissioner of Agricultural Marketing and Agri Business, who will be taking over as Member-Secretary of the CMDA.