Marina pen statue: Notices issued to union, TN

The petitioner contended the proposed project was legally untenable, environmentally fraught, and unnecessary.
Marina beach (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)
Marina beach (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

CHENNAI: The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday issued notices to the union and state government over the proposed construction of the 42-metre-tall pen statue memorial for former chief minister M Karunanidhi, off the Marina coast. Notices were issued to 13 respondents, union, and state authorities.

Thoothukudi-based advocate B Ramkumar Adityan filed a petition before the tribunal. When the matter had come up for admission, the government’s standing counsel asked the bench to not admit the petition and rather agreed to file a response.

The petitioner contended the proposed project was legally untenable, environmentally fraught, and unnecessary. “The pen monument is to be placed on the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Marina beach at a distance of 360 m from the shoreline in CRZ-IV (A) area. The project involves both onshore and offshore construction and covers 8551.13 sq.m. The proposal encroaches on 70 m of CRZ 1A, which are turtle-nesting grounds,” Ramkumar said adding such construction is not a permitted activity as per CRZ Notification 2011

The petitioner urged the tribunal to direct the state to declare the coastal stretch from Napier Bridge to Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai and Kottivakkam to Kovalam bench in Chengalpet as ecologically-sensitive areas. This would protect Olive the Ridley turtle nesting grounds, he said. He sought a permanent injunction on burying, cremating mortal remains, building statues and memorials of deceased people in Marina beach.

It may be noted the Public Works Department obtained permission from the State Coastal Zone Management Authority (SCZMA) for the statute and filed an application seeking Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Union environment ministry.

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