Propose plan to restore Sholinganallur reservoir, says Madras High Court
Directive issued after IIT-M professors reported large-scale government encroachments. on water
Madras High Court on Monday ordered the state government to appoint an expert body to find the best possible solution to rejuvenate Periya Eri, a mosaic of tanks, made up of the Velaleri tank, the Velalkani tank and the Thamaraikani tank at Sholinganallur.
Given that two faculty members at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras also reported large-scale government encroachments, the court wanted to know whether the restoration work could be undertaken now by moving or dislodging as few as possible. people possible.
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Judge Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy requested a preliminary report from the expert body within six weeks. The Chief Justice asked Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram to give the matter personal attention as it could be replicated to protect all water bodies spread across the state.
The interim order was issued following a public interest litigation request filed by Arappor Iyakkam, a non-governmental organization, represented by its managing director Jayaram Venkatesan, complaining about the construction of the Semmenchery police station on the Thamaraikani tank in 2019. Taking note of the allegation, the judges had, in April, ordered a study by the faculty of the IIT-M.
As a result, Professor Balaji Narasimhan and Soumendra Nath Kuiry from the Department of Civil Engineering were given the task. They informed the court on Monday that the water application area of ââthe Thamaraikani reservoir alone was 13.47 hectares according to the public works department’s submissions and that it had irrigated about 250 acres. “However, there had been a glaring and complete encroachment throughout the expanse of Periya Eriâ¦ The encroachment is almost complete on the middle part, while the encroachment is almost 60% to 70% on the south side. On the north side, in the Thamaraikani tank, the encroachment is done by a Tangedco substation and the new Semmenchery police station, âsaid the faculty.
“For any significant and significant hydrological impact and for the complete restoration of the water body, the removal of encroachments should be total and without any exceptions,” faculty members said. The first division bench has ordered that no new construction be allowed on the water body, and the police station is also not expected to be made functional until the expert body submits a report. on restoration work with minimal damage to existing encroachments.