The Tamil Nadu water resources department has cleared encroachments from 899 of the 1,644 tanks in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Tiruvannamalai districts of the state in the past three months, an official statement said here on Friday.
The initiative forms a part of the ongoing project of removing and clearing encroachments from water tanks and ponds.
Further clearing of encroachments from all the tanks in these five districts will also be undertaken, it said.
To clean the water bodies, the state government has formed a steering committee at the state, district and regional levels.
These committees, according to the water resources department, were formed on February 8, through a government order. The order states that Water Resources Department (WRD) officials will be members of the committee which will meet once in every month to review completed works as also to review the future projects.
Eviction, however, has been slow due to political interference in some cases and in some other cases due to the intervention of the court, the department officials said.
The department is planning to establish nurseries on the recovered land parcels with the support of the state forest department.
A senior official with the water resources department told IANS that discussions had taken place with senior forest officials and water resources department officials in this regard.
A total of 8,429 legal notices were served to the encroachers and they were asked to immediately vacate the government land or stringent action would be taken against them.
Notably, the Tamil Nadu government after the recent floods has decided to remove all encroachments from water bodies and to ensure a free flow of water.