S Rly pulled up for building subway in water body

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Chennai, June 30 (PTI): The Madras High Court on Wednesday pulled up Southern Railway for constructing a subway in a water body in Nagapattinam district.

'Even if you put up a Taj Mahal, we will order to raze it down,' the First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said.

The Bench was hearing a PIL petition from S T Arumugam challenging the action of the railway.

There were allegations against the railway and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that they have scant respect for water bodies and put up new constructions, the Bench said.

It ordered notice to Southern Railway and the Tamil Nadu government to file their counters within three weeks with a direction to the State to indicate the nature of the land that had been chosen for the subway and the possibility of restoring the water body.

The Bench observed that the authorities should avoid construction in water bodies. If it is unavoidable, pillars or the like should be erected so that the larger part of the water body is left undisturbed and nature thereof not irreversibly altered, the Bench added.

Many water bodies in the State, particularly in urban areas, had disappeared.

The floods in Chennai in 2015 happened because of the constructions on the waterways, the Bench said. PTI COR SA NVG NVG

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