Tamil Nadu Forest department has stayed a mega residential project in Pulicat that proposed to construct rows of villas on the sea front of the lake in violation of norms, reported Krishna Chaitanya of The New Indian Express.
A wildlife warden, K Geetanjali, said that a team has been sent to investigate the allegations that construction was happening within the Pulicat sanctuary boundaries.
The coastal stretch from Pulicat lighthouse to Karungali river mouth is a eco-sensitive area according to Coastal Zone Management Plan.
An official told TNIE that there are 13 villages under local panchayat limits which are part of the Pulicat sanctuary and it is a no development zone.
She also said that already constructed structures cannot be demolished immediately. A case needs to be filed regarding it.
She added that staying the construction is one part but restoring the original characteristics of the place will be difficult now.
Traditional fishermen in the area are allowed to carry out bonafide activities but building permanent structures for commercial activities is prohibited.
She added that they have issued notices and construction has been stopped.
The construction work has reportedly reached almost halfway at a resort with villas and two residential townships on the beach front of the lake and close to the lagoon. Moreover, many customised villas are planned at Vairavan Kuppam, one of the fishermen villages and three villas are almost complete while six other villas and a restaurant are under construction.
The builder had planned to build a massive resort with individual villas and at least two residential townships.
An employee had told TNIE that they were planning to convert the place into a tourist hotspot and many NRIs are interested in the project which is expected to be completed by 2018.