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Through the writ plea, the Koval Pudur resident welfare association alleged that the public utility sites are being used for other purposes and lands are being sold by inviting tenders
While dealing with a writ plea against sale of lands reserved for public utility by inviting tenders in Coimbatore city, the Madras High Court on Thursday said that the sites reserved for playgrounds and parks are the lungs of the city and they need to be preserved.
The bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy referred to the relevant statute and stressed, "The minimum area for playgrounds and parks as per the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971 has to be preserved."
Through the writ plea, the Koval Pudur resident welfare association alleged that the public utility sites are being used for other purposes and lands are being sold by inviting tenders.
However, on the last date of hearing in the matter last month, the counsel for the Tamil Nadu Housing Board had argued that the public utility sites are to be used for the construction of orphanages, hospitals, and other public purposes for which tenders are being invited.
He had sought time to file a counter affidavit detailing the purpose for which tenders would be issued in respect of the public utility sites. While allowing the same, the court had also directed the petitioner to demonstrate the provision under which a public utility site has to be kept open.
Before the division bench on Thursday, a reference was made by the counsel for the petitioner to a government order dated October 22, 2023, issued by the Housing and Urban Development Department.
Clause 8 of the same stated that as per the government letter dated October 15, 1980, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board should not convert the sites earmarked in the layout for public purposes like schools, playgrounds, parks, etc., into residential sites without permission/order of the government.
However, the bench noted that any such government order had not been placed on record.
Therefore, while emphasising the need for the preservation of public playgrounds and parks, the division bench asked the counsel for the respondents to place on record the details and posted the matter for further hearing on December 20, 2023.
Case Title: KOVAL PUDUR RESIDENTS WELFARE VS THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, AND 3 OTHERS
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