In this group of writ petitions it is stated that due to encroachments, several water bodies in North Madras area have lost their character and become non-existent. The effect of such illegal encroachments is that during rainy season several areas in northern part of Chennai become inundated with floods as the excess water cannot get discharged to the sea. It is further stated that because of industrialization without proper drainage and sewerage planning some water bodies such as Ambattur and Korattur tanks have become contaminated. With a view to solve this problem, originally the authorities wanted to restore the natural course of Madhavaram Right Bank Surplus Channel so that it can carry natural surplus water to Captain Cotton Canal and from there to Bay of Bengal, but subsequently decided to to construct an open channel connecting Korattur tank with Madhavaram tank. The petitioner has therefore prayed for appointing a Committee headed by a retired Judge and consisting of experts as well as representatives of the locality and representatives of the encroachers to suggest permanent solution to the water logging and flooding problems faced by the residents of Kathirvedu village. The individual land owners have also focussed on the question of invocation of urgency clause and it has been submitted that there was no justification for invoking such clause. In the counter affidavit filed by the State it is clearly indicated that keeping in view the volume of water likely to be discharged, the existing system and the Captain Cotton Canal would not be adequate and therefore the present scheme is required to be implemented.
The Court observed that even though it may appear as if there has been some delay at different stages,it cannot be said that the subjective satisfaction of the Government for invoking the urgency clause was arrived at on the basis of any irrelevant consideration or extraneous consideration.
The Court considered the allegation that only with a view to protect the encroachers the alternate plan has been envisaged very vague, as in none of the writ petition, any specific allegation has been made relating to any particular influential encroacher. Even if initially the process indicated the problem would have been solved by removing few encroachers and re- locating them, in view of passage of time, such a course did not appear to be practicable to the Government, and therefore, the alternative scheme has been conceived and has been partly implemented. It is obviously the duty of the Government to protect all sources of potable water so that the inconvenience caused to the inhabitants is minimised. It is therefore necessary that all possible efforts should be made to see that the water of any of the tank to be connected through artificial channel is not contaminated. Adequate steps should be taken by the appropriate authorities to establish at least three water treatment plants at vantage points so that no contaminated water would flow into Korattur tank, Kadirvedu Thangal and ultimately to Madhavaram tank. Therefore the Court dismissed all the writ petitions filed by the land owners challenging the validity of the Land Acquisition Proceedings whereas all the other writ petitions have been disposed of subject to the directions regarding the establishing of water treatment plants.