Isha Foundation: Madras High Court orderss DTCP to verify permits
The Madras High Court has ordered an inquiry into allegations that the Isha Foundation had put up unauthorized constructions on 20.80 hectares of land at Ikkarai Poluvampatti village in Perur Taluk of Coimbatore.
The court directed the Joint Director of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) in Coimbatore to conduct the inquiry on the allegations.
The first division bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice P D Adikesavalu passed the orders while disposing off a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in 2017 by P Muthammal, president Velliangiri Hills Tribals Protection Society.
The complainant had prayed for restoring wetlands in the area by demolishing illegal constructions.
The Deputy Director of Town and Country Planning informed the court that of the 20.805 hectares falling under 23 different survey numbers mentioned by the petitioner, 15.53 hectares have been classified as wetland, and 5.275 hectares have been classified as Punjai or dryland.
The officials also said that the owner of the land has been mentioned as Isha Foundation on the government website, but no records were available with the office of the town and country planning with respect to any kind of approval being given for putting up constructions on those lands.
The Deputy Director of Town and Country Planning, R Rajaguru said: “No record has been found in this office regarding Collector NOC (No Objection Certificate), pollution control board NOC, Hill Area Conservation Authority NOC, Fire Department NOC etc.”
He also said that when verified with the Ikkarai Poluvampatti panchayat, it was found that no permission has been issued by the panchayat president also.
After hearing the Deputy Director, the court directed the Joint Director of Town and Country Planning to verify whether everything was in order after scrutinizing the documents filed by the petitioner and Isha Foundation.
The court also said that if the same is not in order, the Joint Director shall take further steps expeditiously with regard to the building that may not be constructed in accordance with the plan and the no objection certificate.
The division bench of the Madras High Court also directed Isha Foundation to place all records before the Joint Director, Town and Country Planning within two weeks.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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