Pen Monument for M Karunanidhi: Plea in SC against Tamil Nadu govt move

Supreme Court,
The petition by an apex court lawyer was filed amid a controversy over the scheduled inauguration of the new Parliament building by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 28.

A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Tamil Nadu governments decision to construct an offshore memorial to legendary DMK leader M Karunanidhi modelled after a pen in the Bay of Bengal.

The state government plans to construct a 134 feet tall Pen statue off the Marina beach near the Muthamil Kalaignar Karunanidhi memorial.

Apart from being a politician, Karunanidhi was an accomplished writer. He wrote almost daily for the DMKs newspaper Murasoli. The plea filed by Madurai resident K K Ramesh has sought the courts direction to the Tamil Nadu government and the Ministry of Environment to withdraw the decision as it could damage the ecosystem.

The petition alleged all departments of the state government gave clearance certificates for the proposed monument in haste while violating environmental laws.

“Uncontrolled construction activities in these areas would have devastating effect on the natural water flow that may ultimately result in severe natural calamities.

“The expert opinions suggest that the devastating floods faced in recent years in Tamil Nadu are the immediate result of uncontrolled construction activities on sea shores and unscrupulous trespass into the natural path of backwaters,” the petition filed through advocate Narender Kumar Verma said. The plea said the monument, estimated to be built at a cost of Rs 80 crore, could further affect the coastline and will impact the fish population since Marina Beach is an area which has a high-accretion rate (accumulation of sand).

It has also sought directions to protect the coastal regions of all states from the rising sea-levels and a ban on any construction work there. The DMK had earlier staunchly defended the proposal to build the Pen Monument, saying it is the most befitting move to honour the literary genius who was also a political colossus.

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