The Madras high court bench has questioned the Tamil Nadu government whether it could convert water bodies in the state and allow construction work there.
A division bench headed by justice A Selvam raised the question on Wednesday while hearing a PIL by one Duraisamy, seeking removal of encroachments from a tank at Vilampatti village in Dindigul district.
The petitioner submitted that there were many government offices including a panchayat union office in the water body, which is spread over 4.5 acres.
The encroachment has led to acute shortage of water in the village and it should be removed, he said. The bench asked if the government which clears encroachments, itself can encroach water bodies.
In response, the government submitted that there were no lands that could receive irrigation water from the water body in the village. There was also a provision to change the status of water body and allow construction there, it said.
The bench then directed the government to submit the details, according to which construction was allowed in the water body and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.