November 20, 2018
Chennai : Tamil Nadu government can construct MGR Centenary Arch on arterial Kamaraj Salai, off Marina Beach, but cannot inaugurate it, for now.
Giving this ruling the Madras High Court on Tuesday said it allowed the TN government to go ahead with construction of the 66-feet-wide and 52-feet-tall structure to commemorate the birth centenary of late chief minister and AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran.
A two-member bench comprising Mr Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Mr Justice N Seshasayee, however, directed the government to not to inaugurate the arch till a PIL opposing the structure was disposed of.
The inauguration was scheduled for next month.
In an observation, the court expressed dismay that government concentrated on such things like allocation of Rs 2 crore for the arch construction but people were made to run from pillar to post to get compensation for land acquired for it.
Cases for compensation for land, worth Rs 850 crore, were pending in lower courts, the High Court observed.
Petitioner D Dinesh Kumar, an advocate, pleaded that the MGR arch was intended for political supremacy and the construction work was causing hinderance to the people. The construction was also flouting the Tamil Nadu Highways Act, that bars construction of a permanent structure on either side of the pathway of the road or on the middle of the road. It is unauthorised construction, the petitioner contended.
Tamil Nadu Advocate General Vijay Narayan submitted that the place where the arch was being built did not fall under the highways department but within corporation limits.
The case will now come up for further hearing on December 17.