The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to take immediate steps to remove encroachments on a portion of the Tiruvannamalai hill.
The First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam passed the order on a petition by C.M. Sivababu, district president of the Indu Makkal Katchi, Tiruvannamalai. The petitioner said the Tiruvannamalai hill was no exception to illegal encroachments and land grabbing.
Land grabbers and encroachers destroyed nature. The irony was that land grabbers encroached on the hill in the garb of godmen.
Mr. Sivababu alleged that one Vedha Viththu alias Krishnan alias Kanagaraj had set up a lodge on the eastern side of the hill (behind the Sri Arunachaleswarar temple) near the Mulaipal Theetham, in the name of ‘Bala Dhandayuthapani Thirukkoil’ (temple.) He had encroached upon 50 cents.
To facilitate construction activities, he had used explosive material for blasting and breaking the rocks in January 2010.
He had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. The petitioner said he sent a complaint to the authorities in February 2010 to remove the encroachments and to initiate appropriate criminal action against the person concerned.
The authorities who were duty bound to remove encroachers had not acted in accordance with the law. Hence, the present petition.
In the counter, the Tiruvannamalai District Collector admitted that Mr. Vedha Viththu had encroached a portion of the hill and said he had been advised not to carry on any further construction. The person had constructed a small temple and residing in a portion of it. He had said he would not make any further construction.
Disposing of the petition, Justices Eqbal and Sivagnanam said it was evidently clear that the officials allowed the person to make construction. Though they were duty-bound to stop the work and remove it, till date nothing had been done. – The Hindu, Chennai, 25 April 2012
The court ordered encroachments around Arunachala Hill to be removed years ago. Nothing was done then and nothing will be done now. Not only has the court order been flouted in the past, the Tiruvannamalai authorities have allowed water and electricity connections to be made to all the illegal buildings on the hillside. Pattas have also been issued to many of the encroached plots. Sri Ramanasramam should not be exempted from an encroachment review. The area behind the ashram dining hall is alleged to be an encroachment on the hill, and the ashram also claims land on the hillside on the Agni Lingam Road. No reason why this wealthy private institution should be excused from an encroachment survey when poor people without land or tenure or means of livelihood are being forced off the hillside. – Editor
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