Survey two lakes to identify encroachments: NGT to Tamil Nadu water resources department
After scrutinizing evidence and submissions made by a joint committee, the NGT bench and expert member K Satyagopal directed the authorities to compare the current lake size with the original extent.
CHENNAI: The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Water Resources department (WRD) to conduct a survey in coordination with Tiruvallur and Chennai Collectors to identify and remove encroachments on lakes.
Korattur People's Welfare and Awareness Trust had filed a petition alleging that nearly 50 per cent of 990 acres of the Korattur lake was lost to encroachers, which includes commercial buildings, factories, industries and residential houses. The lake was also polluted due to the dumping of untreated trade effluent and sewage, it added.
After scrutinizing evidence and submissions made by a joint committee, the NGT bench comprising of judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member K Satyagopal directed the authorities to compare the current lake size with the original extent as per the revenue records and take steps to remove the encroachments.
The collectors were also directed to monitor the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and liquid waste management within their jurisdiction and if there was any assistance required for the removal of encroachments, then they were directed to provide all such assistance to necessary stakeholders like the Greater Chennai Corporation, Avadi Municipal Corporation and WRD.
The NGT, acting suo motto based on news reports, said the status of Ambattur lake also was equally bad and gave directions to the city Corporation and Avadi Municipal Corporation to provide CCTV cameras around the Korattur Lake and Ambattur Lake to monitor illegal activities.
Authorities were also directed to take steps to strengthen the bunds periodically and provide bio-fencing or create biological diversity parks around the waterbodies to prevent future encroachment and create more green cover and act as a carbon sink.
"Areas of the Ambattur Municipality, which were not covered under the Under Ground Sewerage Schemes (UGSS), is now part of the Chennai Corporation. So, it is for the Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) to take immediate steps to complete the UGSS and divert the sewage to the STP," the NGT order read.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) was directed to initiate action against industries and residents for the lapses noticed during the 2016 inspections. The TNPCB carried out inspections and found some deficiencies in the Common STP operated by CAAIIUC. Further, certain units were operating without consent and notices were issued and action was taken against those units.
Reports for 6 months
The NGT asked the Additional Chief Secretary to Government -Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply to file periodical reports regarding the progress and action taken for implementation of the directions, including removal of encroachments (if any) found during the survey once in six months till the entire directions and process are completed.
The Chief Secretary has been directed to form a committee comprising of Additional Chief Secretary to Government from the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply, Finance Department or his nominee and Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Commissioner of Municipal Administration to review the implementations of the directions. NGT disposed of the case.