Bhopal: Construction of arch bridge at lower lake embroiled in controversy

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Bhopal: The under construction arch bridge at Lower Lake area scheduled to be open from this May has again stuck in a controversy. The residents who are to be relocated have now refused to shift elsewhere. Case pertaining to ownership over land on which the BMC is constructing the bridge is pending with Waqf Tribunal. The 300-meter longs arch-bridge is being constructed between Ginnori Kamlapati ghat and Kilol park dhobi ghat at the cost of Rs 39.80 crore. An approach road to the bridge is also under construction. Now, danger of being relocated to another area also looms large on people whose houses are coming in way of the approach road.

Refusing to be relocated people, whose houses are hindering the development work, citing documents have claimed that they were rehabilitated in the area by Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) three decades ago. We will not undergo the entire rehabilitation process for the second time, said the residents in unison.

The district Congress has also come out in their support. Taking up their cause BMC corporator Shabista Zaki, while addressing media persons, said that rehabilitation of a resident is illegal if it is done for more than one time.

Shopkeepers and residents who were rehabilitated in the area decades back and are again forced to evacuate the place in name of development, this will not be tolerated, said the corporator. The BMC has resorted to dictatorship as they are overlooking the human rights of the residents, she added.

In the year 1992, nearly 176 persons were displaced for widening of Ret Ghat square and were rehabilitated near Kilol park on leased land. However, the state government cancelled the land allotted to them on lease following which the residents had moved the court.  The court gave order in their favour directing that their lease allotment will never be cancelled and that they will never be relocated. The Bhoomipoojan of the bridge was performed in 2016 and is all set to be opened for public coming May.

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