CHENNAI: The DMK government’s proposal to build a Pen Memorial for party patriarch and former chief minister M Karunanidhi on the Marina Beach has come under judicial scanner, with a lawyer moving the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking to declare the entire coast as ecologically sensitive area.
Admitting the plea on Friday, NGT’s southern bench comprising Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and expert member Satyagopal Korlapati directed the state and central governments submit their responses by February 2.
The petition, filed by advocate B Ramkumar Adityan sought to declare the seashore from Napier Bridge to Thiruvanmiyur and from Kottivakkam to Kovalam Beach as Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) to protect the olive ridley sea turtle nesting grounds.
Adityan wanted the tribunal to permanently injunct the state government from constructing a Pen Memorial for Karunanidhi on the beach violating Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
He said the Marina Beach was one of the potential turtle nesting grounds and the Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 classified turtle nesting ground as an ecologically sensitive area.
As per CRZ Notification 2011, the area up to 100 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) on the landward side, in case of the seafront, is to be marked as “No Development Zone” and no construction shall be permitted except for repairs and reconstruction of existing authorised structures like dwelling units of traditional coastal communities, the petitioner said.
Noting that Tamil Nadu has issued a GO to construct Pen Monument for the former chief minister, he said it would eat the traditional and most productive fishing grounds of the fishermen from 13 villages located between Cooum river mouth and Adyar river mouth,” the lawyer said.
The petitioner wanted the court to permanently restrain the state or any other authority to permit the burry or cremate mortal remains of any deceased person irrespective of their status.