CHENNAI: If you plan to buy a property in Velachery or Pallikaranai, make sure the plot is not on a marshland. Recognising the need, albeit belatedly, to protect these vital ecosystems, the government on Friday declared that properties on such land across the state would not be registered.
An official communication said: “It is brought to the notice of the government that marshlands are being encroached upon and alienated through fraudulent documents. In order to safeguard the marshlands and in the interest of the environment and the public, it is decided that registration of any documents of properties in marshlands will not be done by the registration department.”
An official said many marshlands in TN were `kazhuveli’ land under the control of the revenue department. A senior forest depart ment official said many marshland areas in the state were `kazhuveli’ land under the control of the revenue department. With no protection accorded, these ecologically sensitive areas became a huge `no man’s land’, often in a city, and systematically encroached upon.
Take the case of the Pallikaranai marsh in south Chennai. A vitally imporant wetland that is home to migratory birds, it also serves as a flood mitigation system. It was with the revenue department till 2007 when 317 hectares was transferred to the forest department. Five years later another 170.40 hectares was given. Two years later, after another 206.98 hectares was handed over, it was declared a reserved land. By then, incalculable damage had been done and many buildings, including large housing complexes, had come up, the official said.
Courtesy: P Oppili & Yogesh Kabirdoss | TNN | 11-March-2017