High Court prohibits Chennai Corporation from building washrooms along Chithiraikulam

The Madras High Court has prohibited Chennai Corporation from using the four sides of Chitiraikulam (temple tank), Mylapore for constructing a toilet or putting a permanent structure on the pavements alongside the walls of this tank.

The managers of Sri Adikesava Perumal Peyalwar Devasthanam which also runs its temple closeby said that the tank belonged to the temple and they filed the case following the plans of the civic body.

The temple said that the land belonged to it and its water was being used for temple purposes.

It had erected a parapet on four sides of the tank to keep the pavement clean and water unpolluted by public.

It had requested the Corporation to remove the waste dumped by vegetable vendors who run shops on at least two side of the ‘kulam’ here.

The Chennai Coporation said that it wanted to construct latrines and bathrooms on one side of the tank and use the pavement space – at junction of Kapaleeswarar Temple South Mada Street and East Mada Street where there was a vacant roadside land belonging to it, that was misused by antisocial elements.

The civic body said it made this plan to avoid this nuisance.

Justice Chandru of the Madras High Court said that the Chennai Corporation’s affidavit had no positive direction to relocate vegetable vendors on South Mada Street at Chitiraikulam, this was done many years ago when the hawkers were found to encroach on South Mada Street.

Relocated vegetable vendors dumped waste vegetables in the tank, said temple managers.

If the Corporation was interested in the vendor’s welfare, it should acquire the land and construct proper toilet facility, the judge said.

No nuisance should be committed to the temple or devotees, he said.

The temple was within its right to protect the tank’s sanctity, he added. The judge said that Chennai Corporation could not in guise of providing a facility to one section offend the other.

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