Bhopal: Encroachments over nullah leading to flooding

Bhopal: Encroachment on beds of nullahs in the city has caused flooding in the adjoining areas claiming as many as six lives this year. There are as many as 750 mullahs in the city. People have encroached upon nullah bed and raised construction over it; this in turn has reduced the width of nullahs. Dirty water and slush overflows from these rain-fed nullahs and floods roads and adjoining residential colonies.

Under the very nose of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), scores of encroachments have been developed on nullahs beds all across the city. Even other departments have turned a blind eye to these mushrooming encroachments over the nullah.

There are as many as 100 illegal slums developed adjoining nullahs and during monsoon, these areas get inundated. Slum dwellers are the ones who fall prey to the man-made calamity. This year two minor boys from slums had drowned in swollen nullahs which were in full spate after heavy downpour.

The local administration though has swung into action in wake of deaths of four persons following wall collapse and drowning of a minor boy on Tuesday, however it is too little and too late. The authorities did act against encroachers; however, it remained confined to small vendors only. The teams of anti-encroachment cell of the municipal body seized the carts and stalls of small vendors only.

In a survey conducted some ten years back, over 300 slum areas were identified in the city, today the number has touched 500.  In past and even now the authorities have failed to take any action against the encroachers for varied reasons including political consideration and pressure. There are even instances where the anti-encroachment squad had to face violent resistance during drives.

Devi Sharan, former commissioner BMC holds lack of political will to check mushrooming of encroachments on nullah and even their removal and now these encroachments have become huge botheration for the civic body. Other concerned authorities should also take a note of these encroachments as only the civic body cannot be hold responsible for the illegal slums and encroachment, he added.

Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma assured that he would speak to collector for conducting a survey to identify colonies and slums developed over beds of nullah. The people will be shifted from dangerous zones and rehabilitated elsewhere, he added. Municipal staff alone can’t resolve the entire issue, the district administration and other departments should also come forward to chalk out a detail plan to address the matter, said the Mayor.

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