(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, praying for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus to direct the respondents to take immediate and appropriate action to remove all the encroachments made in "Anjukam Varavathy" channel, Kancheepuram District, based on the petitioner's representations dated 04.01.2016, 27.05.2016, 19.09.2016 and 31.10.2016 by immediately executing the work estimation entitled "Standardisation of Mannivakkam Supply Channel by widening to full width lining and Remodelling in Urapakkam Village in Chengalpattu Taluk of Kancheepuram District" formulated as per the directions of the Petitioner's Committee of the Tamil nadu Legislative Assembly within a time limit that may be stipulated by this Court and also to direct the respondents to put proper maintenance and extend with t
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he width and depth of the supply channel.)
M. Venugopal, J.
1. The petitioner has filed the above Writ Petition praying for issuance of a Writ of Mandamus to direct the respondents to take immediate and appropriate action to remove all the encroachments made in "Anjukam Varavathy" channel, Kancheepuram District, based on the petitioner's representations dated 04.01.2016, 27.05.2016, 19.09.2016 and 31.10.2016 by immediately executing the work estimation entitled "Standardisation of Mannivakkam Supply Channel by widening to full width lining and Remodelling in Urapakkam Village in Chengalpattu Taluk of Kancheepuram District" formulated as per the directions of the Petitioner's Committee of the Tamil nadu Legislative Assembly within a time limit that may be stipulated by this Court and also to direct the respondents to put proper maintenance and extend with the width and depth of the supply channel.
2. Heard both sides and perused the materials available on record.
3. According to the petitioner-Residents Welfare and Cultural Association, in their area, a channel, by name Anjukam Varavathy flows through a five way supply channel to Mannivakkam Lake, which acts as a major fresh/flood water drainage course. The said supply Channel runs with a width of 10 meters and 10 feet depth. During rainy seasons, the water is collected in the said channel and the excess water so collected runs through the said supply channel into the Mannivakkam Tank/Lake. Due to the water course, the aquifer in their area, gets completely re-charged.
4. The grievance of the petitioner is that from the year 1992, some portions of the supply channel were encroached upon by some, who also let out sewage into the supply channel and in the absence of proper maintenance by the Respondents, the channel was converted as a scrap-yard which had completely narrowed its width and considerably reduced its aquifer re-charge capacity. Further, right from the year 2009, the petitioner-Association has been moving every Authority to standardise the said supply channel in order to prevent flooding of the area. Further, the petitioner-Association made a representation to the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly Petitions Committee. One such representation was dated 25.07.2011 and assigned the number '385'. Thereafter, by letter dated 22.09.2011, the petitioner-Association was informed by the Superintending Engineer, Kancheepuram that estimate towards the work of Standardisation was in progress.
5. Added further, it is stated that in the year 2014-2015, as per the direction of the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly, the Water Resources Organisation, P.W.D., Government of Tamil Nadu, conducted a survey for the Estimation of the Mannivakkam Supply Channel by widening its full width lining and remodelling in Urapakkam Village in Chengalpattu Taluk of Kancheepuram District. The estimate for the project was prepared as per the current schedule of rate 2014-2015 and its cost works out to Rs.975 lakhs.
6. The stand of the petitioner is that although the quoted estimate for the work was meticulously drawn, owing to several factors, it was not carried out. Further, due to the inaction and apathy on the part of the respondents, it caused serious danger to the above said water ways and to the residents of the area and a representation dated 04.01.2016 was made to the second respondent seeking to remove the various encroachments made by all and sundry to protect the abovesaid channel and to prevent any further inundation and the said representation was received by the second respondent and three reminders were sent on 27.05.2016, 19.09.2016 and 31.10.2016 to the respondents, but no action was taken by them. Hence, the petitioner has filed the present Writ petition for the relief stated supra.
7. On behalf of the First and Fifth Respondents, it is mentioned in the counter affidavit, dated 19.10.2017 that the Revenue Department was addressed to issue Form-I and Form-II consisting of details of encroachments and encroachers list as per the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act, 2007 to evict the encroachments. Further, the estimate for Standardisation of Mannivakkam Supply Channel by widening its full width lining and re-modelling in Urapakkam Village, was prepared during 2015 at a cost of Rs.9 crores and forwarded to get sanction. However, the estimate was returned with certain remarks and again the same was revised based on the current schedule of rates 2017-2018 (for labour, material and machinery) and resubmitted at a cost of Rs.9.95 crores for getting sanction. Moreover, the aforesaid Standardisation work can be executed only after the removal of encroachments in the water-way. In short, in the counter, the respondents 1 and 5 have taken a stand that the identification of the encroachments is underway so as to implement the Standardisation work and after obtaining the details of encroachments in Form-I and II as per the said Act from the Revenue Department, the Form-II will be issued to encroachers by the Fifth Respondent- Department to remove the encroachments themselves within 21 days time. After removal of the encroachments and obtaining the sanction for the work of Standardisation of Mannivakkam Supply Channeal and widening its full width, the work would be executed by the Fifth Respondent-Department.
8. In this connection, a 'status report' was filed by the Fifth respondent stating that the petitioner's residential colony is located just upstream of the "Eri Ulvai" (inlet area of Tank) with their existing ground level lower than the maximum flood level (MFL). The reasons behind the vulnerability of the residential lay-out flooding is insufficient in the natural width of the channel, development of lay-out in the flood prone tank inlet area (Eri Ulvai) and presence of encroachments in the water body. Further, the process of eviction in the Mannivakkam Channel at Urapakkam village was also initiated and the encroachers were issued with Form-III in continuation of issuance of Form-I and II by the Revenue Department. Ultimately, on 28.10.2017, the encroachment in the water bodies with the help of Revenue Department and Police Department, was removed in Mannivakkam Channel at Urapakkam Village. Added further, under the pre-monsoon works 2018, the entire channel re-sectioning, widening and desilting works are also under progress and the work was completed by 30.09.2018. It is represented on behalf of the Respondents 1 and 5 that the entire channel discharge capacity will be increased before the on-set of monsoon and the flooding of Annai Anjugam Nagar will be mitigated. The above flood mitigation works of providing flood regulator, widening channel and eviction of encroachments taken by the Public Works Department in Mannivakkam and Guduvancheri Channel, would mitigate the flooding possibility to a larger extent in the particular Lay-out.
9. In view of the fact that the Fifth Respondent has come out with a categorical plea that with the help of the Revenue Department and Police Department, the encroachments in the water bodies of Mannivakkam Channel at Urapakkam village was evicted on 28.10.2017 and re-sectioning, widening, desilting works in the entire Channel was also completed, this Court comes to a resultant conclusion that nothing further survives for adjudication in the present Writ Petition.
10. Accordingly, the Writ Petition is closed. No costs.