The state’s department of town and country planning (DTCP) has issued a stop-work notice to a developer for not obtaining prior permission to construct their farmland and resort less than half a kilometre from Vedanthangal bird sanctuary. The DTCP has sent a notice to the Vedanthangal village panchayat president Vasanthi Lakshmifor approving the plot.
“The area around the birdsanctuary is classified as agricultural land, most of which is wetland, and Ramky Wavoo Developershasn’tsought permission from us before beginning the project,” says the director of thedepartmentof town and planning,AKarthik.
Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is spread over 74 acres and more than 150 species of birds can be sighted here. It is a breeding ground for threatened bird species. Environmentalists say that it is important to protect the areas around the sanctuary. “Any development in the proximity will lead to an increased use of water, noise pollution and damage the environment,” said director of Bombay NaturalHistory Society, Asad Rahmani.
“We will give them one month time to respond to our notice, failing to do so the DTCP will lock up and seal the property,” added Karthik. Ramky Wavoo officials say their intention wasn’t to violate any law and will take necessary stepstoensurethattheir project ‘EcoPolis’ complies with all the requirements. “This notice is a small hiccup and we will respond attheearliest,” said managing director of thecompany, W S Habib.
Habib says the project was approved by Vedanthangal village panchayat. According to DTCP, the panchayat president can only approve plots up to 4,000sq ft. The regional office of DTCP can approve projects up to 25,000sq ft. More than that, the developer has to approach DTCP headquarters in Chennai. The Ramky Wavoo project is around 13,000 sq ft. The panchayat president said: “I’m from a village and I’m not aware of the rules and will be careful henceforth,” she said.
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