TN govt to commence massive drive to remove encroachments from water bodies

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The Tamil Nadu government is to commence a massive drive to remove the encroachments from water bodies in the state spread across 9,800 hectares.

The decision came after the Madras High Court had expressed displeasure over a large number of water bodies being encroached upon in the state.

The state government has already constituted three committees at the divisional, district, and state level for effective reporting and monitoring developments in identifying and evicting encroachments in water bodies and government lands.

The state-level committee will be monitored by Chief Secretary, V. Irai Anbu, and will review the overall progress in eviction. This will be in compliance with several court orders in respect of encroachments in water bodies as also government lands.

While a section of the encroachments have been removed in Kancheepuram district, the process is currently halted due to the urban local body elections.

The drive in Kancheepuram was conducted jointly by the Revenue and Water Resources Department and authorities said that they have reclaimed 82 acres of government land worth Rs 487 crore.

Encroachers have converted these water bodies to mango farms, and agriculture fields. In some areas, even houses and hospitals were constructed in these places.

Talking to IANS, state Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan said: “We have put a brake on the drive due to the urban local body elections and once it gets over, the anti-encroachment drive will be pursued with full vigour.”

District Collectors and revenue officials of various districts told IANS that after the urban polls a massive drive against encroachments will be conducted and action will be taken against the encroachers under the TN Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act.

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