MADRAS_HIGH_COURTAccording to the latest information available, it has been reported that a public interest litigation (PIL) petition before the Madurai bench of the Madras high court has revealed that several acres of paddy fields at Kalkulam in Kanyakumari district have been converted into housing plots. In this matter, the activists Mr S P Udaya Kumar and Mr R S Lal Mohan have jointly filed the PIL stating that many irrigation canals passing through paddy fields in the Kalkulam system tank ayacut have been blocked and the lands converted as housing plots. The officials who are supposed to prevent illegal conversion of the said agricultural paddy fields have failed to act and rather, it has sanctioned the layout and granted plan approval, as stated by the petitioners.

Further, it has  also been sought a direction to quash the illegal layout, to reopen the blocked irrigation canals and  to demolish the illegal constructions on agricultural fields as well as to restore the paddy fields and irrigation canals to their original condition.In addition to initiate action against the people involved. A division bench of justices Nooty Ramamohana Rao and S S Sundar ordered notices to 15 people, including the Secretary of the state housing and urban development, Director of the department of town and country planning, the Kanyakumari collector, the public works executive engineer and the superintendent of police accordingly.

Furthermore, in this context, according to the petitioners, it has been revealed that the Kalkulam system tank was spread over 4.3 acres and the agricultural paddy fields spread over 90 acres. The tank and the fields were a source of livelihood for 10,000 people living in Kaniyankulam, Putheri, Kalunkadi, Puliyadi, Erachkulam and Navalkadu. As per report, this ayacut is one of the best productive paddy fields in the district and it is about 150 tonnes of paddy is cultivated during a single crop and 250 tonnes during the double crop seasons. Shanti Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd.Sometimes even triple crop cultivation is also done to earn the livelihood.

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