Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government is preparing for stringent action against those encroachers who have converted water bodies into either commercial or residential properties.
Chief Secretary, V. Irai Anbu, directed all the government departments including Revenue, Municipal Administration, Water Resources, and Rural Development to evict encroachers within a short span of time. Sources said that the Chief Secretary has directed all the District Collectors to coordinate with these departments so that almost all the encroachments are evicted on a war footing.
A Madras High Court bench of acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu, hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) against the encroachment of water bodies, said that the state government had reported action for eviction of encroachments on a war footing has begun.
Anbu, who was asked by the court to appear in person, requested the court that he would provide all details regarding encroachment of water bodies and submitted a Compact Disc (CD) comprising of the details of water bodies in 333 taluks of the state.
In the presentation, he told the court that on the basis of rough data, there were 10,556 acres of water body encroached for residential purposes, 1,500 acres encroached for commercial purposes and 32,024 acres of encroached land were used for cultivation.
In the report, he said that the District Collectors, along with a team, drawn from Revenue, Water Resources, Municipal Administration, and Rural Development Departments, procured almost all the data available regarding encroachment, and had already commenced the process of eviction.
The high court had on Thursday had deferred the verdict on a case related to encroachment of water bodies and said that the water bodies should be freed from the encroachers with immediate effect.