Activist alleges misuse of reserved sites

On 11 reserved sites earmarked to develop parks, a few village panchayats was building panchayat offices, anganwadi centres, community halls and other buildings, Tamil Nadu Reserved Sites Protection Committee organiser S.P. Thiyagarajan has alleged.

In his complaint to the Secretary to the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, Director, Panchayat Raj and District Collector, he alleged that in 11 village panchayats, the officials concerned had misused the reserved sites at Makkinampatty, Chinnampalayam, Achipatti, Okkipalayam, Kovilpalayam, Mullupadi, Zamin Kottampatti, Gomangalam, Oonjavelampatti, Kittasurampalayam and Varadhanur panchayats by constructing SHG federation buildings at ₹ 70 lakh each.

This was in violation of the Supreme Court order of January 15, 2008, Madras High Court order of April 12, 2007 and various order of senior officials of the State Government.

“We also direct the Chief Secretary, Local Administration Department, State of Tamil Nadu to communicate the copy of this order to all the local bodies to scrupulously apply the following directions to all the layouts sanctioned or to be sanctioned. If there is any change or deviation in the purpose by the land owners or by any third party, the same shall be objected to and action shall be initiated as indicated above. For the reasons aforesaid, we hold that a portion of land reserved for public purpose in a layout or in a development plan or master plan approved by the local body cannot be used for any purpose, than the one specified therein,” he quoted the Madras High Court order to underscore his point.

Mr. Thiyagarajan further said that the misuse of reserved site was not new as between 2011 and 2015, village panchayat presidents of executive officers had constructed panchayat office buildings in Ambarampalayam, Achipatti, Okkilipalayam, Mayileripalayam and Kittasurampalayam panchayats.

They had used labour under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act to construct the buildings and those buildings were yet to be thrown open for public.

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