Madras HC dispenses with appearance of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary – The Indian Express

Chennai News

The Madras High Court on Wednesday dispensed with the appearance of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu before it on December 16, in relation to a case regarding floods and inundation in the state.

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice P D Audikesavulu dropped a direction to this effect issued by it on December 8, after accepting the status report filed by the chief secretary.

Squarely blaming the government officials concerned for the present state of floods and inundation in the State, the bench had on December 8 directed Irai Anbu to appear before it on Thursday.

In his status report, the chief secretary admitted there are as many as 4,862 government buildings constructed on water bodies. The commercial buildings accounted for another 8,296. Individual residential houses took the major chunk of 3.20 lakh units.

The process of physically identifying the water bodies using GPS equipment will be completed in another 12 months.

The government has proposed to re-enact the TN Land Encroachment Act, 1905, keeping in mind the enormity and complexity of the problem faced now as compared to the position prevalent 116 years ago.

In those days, encroached lands were used only for agriculture and they entailed only land assessment at penal rates. In modern times, encroachments could be housing, commercial or agriculture, which have all to be treated differently. The proposed re-enactment Act will be an Umbrella Act for prevention and removal of encroachments in government lands by the Revenue and other competent authorities. Appropriate penal clauses will be included in the Act. It will reduce the statutory time period for removal and will streamline appeal and review procedures, it added.

Satisfied with the status report, the bench dispensed with the appearance of the CS before it tomorrow.