Police station on lake: HC orders inspection

The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered an inspection by the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority member secretary Rajasekaran, a judicial officer in the rank of district Judge, to find if all norms were complied with in the construction of the Semmenchery police station, on land originally classified as a waterbody at Sholinganallur.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee also directed the chief engineer of PWD and the chief planner of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to accompany the officer during inspection, and file a status report, along with supporting documents and photographs of the locality, before the court on December 5. The interim orders were passed on a PIL petition filed by Arappor Iyakkam.

Though an Additional Government Pleader claimed that the land was reclassified way back in 2012 itself, the judges, after going through the records, found that the CMDA had granted its approval for reclassification only on March 5, this year after the PWD permitted the construction on condition that sufficient safeguards were taken to prevent inundation during floods.

The PWD had on September 12, 2018, ordered for filling up the land with earth to the level of 12.5 m, and creating an all-round pavement level within the site to a height of 12.5 m, besides providing interior stormwater drainage facility. Since the construction of the police station was almost complete, the judges wanted to know whether the conditions had been complied with or not.

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