Natural Waterfalls Cannot Be Permitted To Be Cut And Diverted By Illegal Means To Private Resorts & Private Properties: Madras HC
The Madras High Court has observed that natural waterfalls which emerge after thousands of years of natural wear, tear, erosion and geomorphological changes, cannot be permitted to be cut and diverted by illegal means to the private resorts/estates/properties by the private persons.
The Court directed the District Collectors of Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore and Ooty to form a committee to find out the private resorts/estates/properties that illegally diverted the flow of natural waterfalls into their properties and directed that necessary action be immediately taken to seal those private resorts/estates/properties.
The bench of Justice R. Mahadevan and Justice Sathya Narayana Prasad was dealing with a petition where the petitioner had contended that the private resorts/estates/land owners are diverting the natural flow of waterfalls into their private estates/properties in order to create artificial waterfalls thereby making their private properties as tourist attraction to gain huge profits.
According to the petitioner, such illegal diversion affects the entire river ecosystem and it will have a great impact on the environment.
The counsel for the petitioner invited the attention of the Court to the list of private resorts that have indulged in such illegal diversion of natural flow of waterfalls.
Advocate Karthikeyan M. appeared for the petitioner and Additional Advocate General R.Baskaran assisted by S. Shanmugavel, Additional Government Pleader appeared on behalf of the Respondents
The Court held that such illegal diversion of natural flow of waterfalls cannot be permitted.
Thus the Court directed the District Collectors of Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore and Ooty to form a committee in the Districts concerned so as to curtail illegal diversion of the natural flow of waterfalls by the private resorts/estates/properties' owners.
The Court also directed that the said committee shall find out the private resorts/estates/properties who illegally diverted the flow of natural waterfalls into their properties and necessary action be immediately taken to seal those private resorts/estates/properties until further orders.
The Court has directed the concerned authorities to submit a detailed action taken report on December 1, 2022.
Cause Title- Vinoth. R v. Additional Chief Secretary to Government & Ors.