A notice was sent to Karunya University which is located at Mathuvarayapuram village at the foothills of the Western Ghats, bordering the Siruvani Main Road, 13 km from Isha. Apparently, the University has been constructed in that area without any kind of a permission or consent which is required under legal issues like Section 47A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.
Environmentalist M. Siva speaks out
M. Siva, an environmentalist has been involved in both the cases, Isha and Karunya. According to him, The violations and lack of approvals are almost the same in both cases. In the case of Karunya, the university spread over 800 acres, sits on the elephant corridor, which also contains wetlands and several water sources of River Noyyal.
Though Karunya University was founded in in the year 1986 by late evangelist DGS Dhinakaran, rampant construction began only in 2005. The construction had started after the University was awarded the deemed university status. The notice had gained momentum only in the year 2012, even though Siva’s efforts in bringing the violations to DTCP’s notice started even as early as in 2006. Following this, several exchanges between the DTCP and the university have transpired.
The notice which was dated on March 14, 2014, has asked Karunya university to produce the approval plan for the construction of several buildings. This also includes buildings having a built-up area of more than 300 sqm that needed clearance by the Hill Area Conservation Authority (HACA) since Mathuvarayapuram village came under the purview of a hill village.
A long list made of Buildings that do not have proper legal approvals
There is a list of 59 buildings that do not have DTCP/ HACA approvals.
The Director of Trust Affairs of Karunya University sent out a response on March 30, 2015. D. Ramamoorthy, Director (Trust Affairs), Karunya, states, “Even though Karunya University has necessary records of building approvals, our institution’s name has been published in newspapers and electronic media under the caption: Karunya University has built the buildings without approval. Being a minority institution, we feel that this is done with the wrong intention and without establishing the facts, thus tarnishing the reputation of the university...we request you to consider the existing approvals for the aforesaid 59 buildings and treat the issue closed.”