Madras High Court reiterates its order to demolish four bungalows close to ECR

The court however, directed the government authorities to wait for a month before carrying out the demolition, so that the owners could exhaust other remedies available to them under the law

The Madras High Court has reiterated an order passed by it on August 14 to demolish four bungalows constructed within 200 metres of the high tide line of the Bay of Bengal along East Coast Road, in Muttukadu near here, which are in violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) regulations.

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy, however, directed the government authorities concerned to wait for a month before carrying out the demolition so that the owners of those bungalows could exhaust other remedies available to them under the law.

The Bench dismissed clarificatory petitions filed on behalf of the owners and agreed with Special Government Pleader (SGP) E. Manoharan that the area of 200 metres from the high tide line had been declared a ‘no development zone’ through a 2011 CRZ notification.

On August 14, the judges had ordered the demolition of the bungalows while dismissing individual writ petitions filed by the owners challenging notices affixed by the government authorities on the properties, declaring them to be illegal constructions.

The court concurred with the SGP that the local panchayat had no right to grant building plan permission for a construction in the no development zone. It also took note that notices were issued to the petitioners way back in 2012, but no coercive action was taken after that.

The issue gained momentum only after one Murugan filed a public interest litigation petition in 2018, to demolish all the buildings constructed close to the coast. The Bench had passed common orders on the PIL petition as well as on individual writ petitions.

Hence, the bungalow owners had filed the present clarificatory petitions contending that they were not parties to the PIL petition.

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