No more encroachment on Meikal land: Madras HC

For this purpose, the relevant Tahsildars and Revenue Officers should take immediate steps to remove encroachment, particularly the incremental encroachment by persons who may have legitimately occupied the original plots, before proceeding against rank encroachers who have settled in for want of any other place.

The State must ensure that there is no further encroachment on any Meikal poramboke land, the Madras High Court said on Wednesday.

The bench was admitting and ordering notice on a PIL which complained of encroachment in Meikal poramboke lands in several districts and referred to a Supreme Court order to the effect that such grazing lands should not be used for any residential or industrial purpose.

For this purpose, the relevant Tahsildars and Revenue Officers should take immediate steps to remove encroachment, particularly the incremental encroachment by persons who may have legitimately occupied the original plots, before proceeding against rank encroachers who have settled in for want of any other place. The matter must receive the attention at the highest level, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu, said.

A broad plan of action should be presented when the matter appears next, within five weeks, the bench said.

As in most other cases, where the short-term benefits result in a rather myopic view being taken, the State is reminded that this, in the long-term, may be an existential or survival issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, the judges said.

The matter was adjourned till November 10.

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