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Posted On : 21 Sep, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Chennai 
HC directs 13 collectors to be present in court
The Madras High Court today directed police to use reasonable force if required to evict encroachers on water bodies.

A division bench of Justices Huluvadi G. Ramesh and RMT Teekaa Raman also directed that 13 district collectors, who have not filed statis reports with regard to removal of encroachments in water bodies, appear in court on October 12.

On behalf of the 13 collectors, Secretary to Revenue Department, Chandra Mohan appeared before the bench.

Reiterating its stand on the personal appearance of the district collectors before the bench on October 12, the judges said their appearance was stressed as it was to explain to them the seriousness of the matter.

The Collectors were further directed to file the status and progress reports on removal of encroachments in their respective districts on the next date of hearing.

The court directed that no subordinate courts in the state should entertain any of pleas with regard to the above encroachments and the petitions, if any, on encroachments on water bodies shall be filed only before the present bench.

The petitioner, 'Iyarkai Valam Matrum Perumballa Odai Padukappu Nala Sangam,' referred to alleged encroachments on a rivulet at Kathirampatti village in Erode district, saying it was the only source of irrigation of agricultural land and acted as a carrier in case of floods caused due to a sudden downpour.

Such encroachments would obstruct free water flow and not only create flooding, but also deprive agriculturalists like them dependent on water bodies of their livelihood, Sangam president K. Shanmugasundaram said.

The court had earlier sought all district collectors to file status reports on removal of encroachments on water bodies. When the matter came up last month, only 19 collectors had filed the status reports.

The court took serioius view of the other 13 collectors not filing the reports and directed them to appear before it today.

When the matter came up, the bench reiterated that they should appear in court as they were represented by the Revenue Secretary today.
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