3 November, 2017. CHENNAI — An inspection report dated 01/11/2017 submitted by the Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Nungambakkam, has confirmed that “M/S TANGEDCO has encroached upon and blocked the backwaters of Ennore Creek beneath the Ennore Highway bridge by establishing a approach road no. 2 of 350 m length and 6 m width for the construction of external coal conveyor system without obtaining the prior approval from MoEF&CC, New Delhi and Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority (TNCZMA).” The inspection was conducted based on complaints made by fishermen and social activists.
The Regional Office also reported that: “Approach road no. 2 clearly obstructs the natural flow of water within the Ennore Creek which may perhaps cause flood vulnerability in that area. Livelihood of communities in the surrounding Ennore Creek who directly depend on fishing activity may also be affected.” This matter was brought to the notice of the TNCZMA in June 2017 when fisherfolk and city environmentalists warned that the illegal road would create a dangerous situation as it prevented the drainage of Kosasthalai’s waters into sea.
Ennore fisherfolk said they were very disappointed with the district administration’s failure to remove encroachments in Ennore Creek. “After actor Kamal visited this place, the District Collector and PWD promised to remove encroachments. They have done nothing, and now we are sitting on a dangerous situation. If the authorities don’t remove it, we will have to do it ourselves,” said P. Mahendran, a fisherman from Kattukuppam.
“In 2015, we took 100 boats and rescued 30,000 people from north Chennai. We are prepared to help again if the need arises. But the Government should not make a bad situation worse by tolerating such blatant encroachments,” said R. L. Srinivasan, another fisher leader from Ennore.
For more information, contact: R.L. Srinivasan — 9884280891; Nityanand Jayaraman 9444082401