See: Background | The case | Chronology of action
Ousteri plays a crucial role in recharging the ground water aquifers. It also harbors rich flora and fauna. It is an important wintering ground for migratory birds, and is been identified as one of the heritage sites by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has been ranked among the most important wetlands of Asia. The story started in the year 2004, when Lakshmi Ammal Education Trust placed a proposal for construction of a medical college in front of the town planner. The department rejected the proposal in 2005 considering that its location is too close to Ousteri Lake, high ground water requirement and high wastewater generation. Later on the trust was successful in getting clear chit from Pollution Control Committee (PCC), Agriculture Department and even from the Irrigation Department. In 2006, about 21 NGOs came together and formed an Ousteri Protection Coordination Committee (OPCC).
Lakshmi Ammal Education Trust placed a proposal for construction of a medical college.
The proposal was rejected, considering its closeness to Ousteri Lake, on grounds of high ground water requirement and high wastewater generation.
The trust was successful in getting clear chit from Pollution Control Committee (PCC), Agriculture Department and even from the Irrigation Department, and thus commenced the construction.
About 21 NGOs came together and formed an Ousteri Protection Coordination Committee (OPCC).
In February, OPCC raised their voice in public hearings conducted by pollution control committee (PCC). The trust was asked to prepare the Environment Impact Analysis report.
In March, the OPCC protested against the report and filed detailed objections pointing out the various facts in the EIA which would militate against setting up a hospital/medical college in the catchments of Ousteri lake which would clearly affect water quality, air quality, flora and fauna in the area and the agriculture and livelihood of farmers in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
In spite of the fact that clearance has not been issued, the construction of the project continued.
OPCC filed a PIL in the HC in May against the Union of India, PWD, Town and Country Planning, Pondicherry Pollution Control Committee and the Trust, regarding the illegal construction of Medical College and Hospital adjacent to the Ousteri Lake.
The HC ordered an interim injunction. In spite of repeated stay orders, the trust continued its construction and even started the admission process.
In August, OPCC files another PIL in the later part of 2006 pleading the HC to render justice.
The court has not come up with its judgment.
The Lake was declared a sanctuary by the territorial administration during the end of 2008.
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