Tamil Nadu government given breather over delay in removal of encroachments
SC, however, restrains I-T dept from implementing its order on proceeding till the pendency of matter before it.
The Madras High Court Tuesday stayed the Rs 2 crore penalty imposed by the National Green Tribunal on Tamil Nadu Public Works Department for failing to initiate appropriate pre-monsoon preparedness work here, particularly for the Buckingham Canal.
A division bench comprising justices MM Sundresh and Krishan Ramaswamy passed the interim order on an appeal moved by the public works department (PWD) challenging the order.
On October 31, the NGT imposed the fine, noting that the pace of work undertaken by the PWD to resolve these issues was disappointing.
The order was passed on a plea by activist Jawaharlal Shanmugam seeking restoration of rivers and canals in the city.
Directing the Tamil Nadu chief secretary to look into the matter directly and ensure steps are taken on an urgent basis in the interest of the environment and the people, the tribunal said the report on the removal of encroachments was equally disappointing.
It is stated that out of total 26,300 encroachments, only 408 have been evicted leaving the balance of 25,892 encroachments still to be dealt with.
Imposing the penalty, NGT also warned the department that if it failed to comply with the directions a fine of Rs 50,000 per day would be imposed on it.
(With inputs from agencies.)