‘Massive encroachments on 15 acres of coast land’
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
26th January 2013 07:56 AM
Around 15 acres of land along the city’s coast, worth a whopping Rs 1,000 crore, has been encroached upon by both government and private agencies in gross violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, according to the ‘Save Chennai Beaches’ Campaign.
After a tour of the coast between the Light House on Kamarajar Salai and Thiruvanmiyur on September 29, 2012, a fact-finding team, led by lawyer and environmentalist T K Ramkumar and marine turtle specialist Kartik Shanker, to document instances of coastal and riverine wetland encroachments and land use conversions, came out with a 13-page report on Friday.
Presenting the findings here, Ramkumar, a lawyer, and Nithyanand Jayaraman, a member of the campaign, said that the coastal stretch between Srinivasapuram and Neelangarai — a total of 14.82 acres worth Rs 1,000 crore — had been encroached by dumping of debris to create roads and parking areas, among others. “This is the egg-laying season for the marine turtles,” they said. “Hence, we wanted to bring out the report now.” Listing out the violations, they said that the Corporation and the PWD had violated the CRZ notification by dumping debris in 2.6 acres at Pattinapakkam beach to create a parking lot. Similarly, the PWD had dumped debris on the Srinivasapuram beach to build a road to the estuary. Migrant workers had also been lodged by an unknown agency at the beach. At the Adyar Creek, 5.78 acres had been encroached upon by the Corporation and PWD, which had resorted to dumping of debris on the inter-tidal zone to create a bund.
Pointing out a case of CRZ violation by a private body, the report said that the ‘Hare Krishna Movement’ had dumped debris on the Thiruvanmiyur Beach to construct a road leading to the rear entrance of its temple. It also accused the movement of “enclosure of and attempted conversion of lands categorised as ‘open space recreation’ under the city Master Plan”. It demanded that all detected debris sites be remediated and the loss of ecology repaired to the extent possible.
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