CMDA turning blind eye to unauthorised constructions along ECR: Amicus curiae to Madras HC

The civic and development authorities have willfully ignored unauthorised constructions that violate coastal regulation norms along East Coast Road in Chennai, the amicus curiae to the Madras HC, has alleged

The Madras High Court was, on June 22, 2018, informed by an amicus curiae that unauthorised constructions were continuing close to the beach, along a prime stretch of the East Coast Road on the city’s outskirts and the Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) were ‘turning a blind eye to rampant irregularities’. After going through the amicus curiae’s report, a bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and GK Ilanthiraiyan, directed the CMDA and the Chennai Corporation to submit a further status report, after a joint inspection of the constructions.

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It also extended an earlier interim order, deferring the city corporation’s notices for disconnecting electricity supply to constructions put up by 143 people, including actor-politician Kamal Hassan, allegedly in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) II norms along the ECR. Advocate T Mohan, appointed by the court as the amicus curiae, noted that the court had earlier directed the corporation and the CMDA to carry out a survey, to identify unauthorised constructions in violation of CRZ norms. If the exercise had been done, the existence of many unauthorised superstructures, used for commercial and other purposes, would have definitely come to the knowledge and notice of the two entities, he said in his report. “Still, very many unauthorised constructions are going on and the two agencies have turned a blind eye to the rampant irregularities,” he added.

Noticing large-scale unauthorised constructions in the prohibited areas of the CRZ, the court had earlier directed the authorities of the corporation and the CMDA, to conduct a joint inspection in the areas and to issue notices to the owners of structures found to be illegal. Subsequently, the corporation served notices to 143 buildings along the beach area. The owners included several leading actors, including Haasan and Ramya Krishnan.

At the latest hearing, the bench said a duty was cast upon the two agencies, to initiate stern and proper action, to prevent unauthorised developments with respect to the areas classified as CRZ-III and now CRZ-II. With regard to the batch of over 100 impleading petitions, the bench said in the event of the court finding that the superstructures fall under the CRZ area, they have to be demolished completely. It posted the matter to July 27, 2018, for further hearing.


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