Terming the attitude of officials as “utterly callous” for failing to prevent dumping of debris on Marina Beach, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday warned the Chennai Corporation and Public Works Department of “stern action” if they failed to prevent the illegal activity within a week.

The Southern Bench comprising Judicial Member Justice M Chockalingam and Expert Member Professor R Nagendran also directed the Corporation and the PWD to file a report by September 18 on the measures to be adopted in coordination with the police to prevent the dumping of debris on the beaches.

When the hearing of a petition filed by Saravanan, a resident of Srinivasapuram, came up on Tuesday, the petitioner cited an Express report published on Monday on the huge amount construction debris dumped on the beach near Pattinapakkam and said the authorities have failed to enforce a previous order of the tribunal that stayed such activities.

Taking note of the submissions, Justice Chockalingam pointed out that the case had been pending with the NGT for 15 months and the authorities have failed to take proper steps despite directions.

“Do you think we are passive spectators? How could this happen? Is the Corporation functioning at all?” the judge asked in the open court.

When officials representing the Corporation said that the debris was the result of unauthorised dumping at night time and it had been cleaned up after the newspaper report, Professor Nagendran said the statement itself was proof that dumping had taken place.

“Whose job is it to stop illegal dumping? Should the tribunal send our officers to stop it? If they are dumping in night time, can’t you up the security and file cases against such people?” he said.

“This is indicative of the non-action of officials, which could be termed as utter callousness. The tribunal is of the considered opinion that this is a case where some serious action is required against the officials if no strict measures are taken to prevent dumping within one week,” the order said and asked the Corporation and PWD to file a report on the measures taken by the next hearing on September 18.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express