Madras High Court has criticised the Tamil Nadu Government for violation of norms in construction of tenements for rehabilitation of displaced slum dwellers in Coimbatore by the state housing board.
“We must express displeasure at the manner in which the project had been undertaken-Putting the cart before the horse. The government cannot be the violator and various competent authorities have undertaken the project first without obtaining the requisite permissions, as would be expected of any other private citizen,” the court said.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice TS Sivagnanam made the observations while closing a PIL petition by environment activist Vishwanath Swami.
Noting that the inadequacies in the construction undertaken by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board in Anna Nagar, Madukkarai Village and Malai Nagar of Sundakkamuthur Village had come to light only because of the PIL, the bench in its order directed the government to pay Rs 10,000 toward cost.
The petitioner claimed the construction was started without obtaining the requisite permission.
The bench after perusing the records filed by various authorities, including the Forest Department, and Local Planning authority, in its order said: “The facts show that without prior permission construction was undertaken though subsequently sanctions have been obtained.”
Warning that these tenements will not be permitted to be occupied until and unless all requisite formalities were completed, the court said:”…Suffice to say that the inadequacies have come to light only because of the PIL was filed, where after the State Government appears to have woken up to the inadequacies and obtained requisite permissions,” the Bench said.