Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Influential people allegedly encroached and raised illegal constructions in the catchment of Kerwa Dam and Kaliasot Dam in Bhopal. Besides the residential villas and farmhouses, many commercial activities like dairy business and restaurants are being operated in the prohibited areas. Cracking whip on the environmental norms breach in catchment area of Kaliasot and Kerwa dams, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given one month time to chief secretary instructing him to form committees at district and village levels to verify encroachments, illegal constructions and release of sewage in water bodies. The petitioners Dr SC Pandey and Rashid Noor Khan, had approached the NGT bringing to notice the illegal and unauthorized constructions and commercial activities being carried out in and around Kerwa and Kaliyasot Reservoirs by the land owners/encroachers, who mostly are influential families of the city. There are not only illegal constructions but also illegal and prohibited activities are being carried in the area, the petitioners had maintained.
The petition filed in the NGT lists the names of the influential people of the city who have allegedly encroached upon the catchment of the reservoirs. The names that figure in the petition include Sapna Singhdeo, wife of AS Singhdeo, who in partnership with Varun Sahgal is running Magic Greens at Chandanpura village, on Kaliasot Dam Road. Raj Yadav runs a milk dairy at Chhawani village, Kaliasot Dam Road, similarly Arun Jathav also operates a milk Dairy at Chhawani. Rajesh Wadhwani runs RW, at Kaliasot Dam Road, says the petition.
In the catchment of Kerwa dam, Mamta Yadav, wife of Awadesh Pratap Singh is running Strike Restaurant in Khudaganj, similarly Awadesh Agrawal’s Country Side Restaurant is also at Khudaganj, Kerwa Dam Road.
Omkar Recreation in partnership with Akash Jain, Ashish Agrawal, Vivek Chug runs 32-NE Restro Lounge at Khudaganj, Kerwa Dam Road. Shikha Mahendra Singh’ s KD Restaurant and Lounge is also in the same area.
Besides, other encroachers (as per petition) are Subodh Varshney, Umesh Yadav, Neeraj Vijay, Manish Vyas, Ibrahim Khan, Narayani Beva, Sushila Bai, Meera Bai, Khem Chandra, Durga Shankar.
A large number of violations of environmental norms and encroachments are observed in and around reservoirs as there is no clear identification and demarcation of Full Tank Level (FTL), Green Belt and Botanical Garden area by boundary pillars/munare, fencing etc.
My construction fully legal:
“ My construction is out of the purview of 33.3 meter from the water body. So it is not disputed and NGT can verify any time. My Yoga-puja Green Magic is personal and legally well justified. Constructions carried out but others might be illegal but not mine.” AS Singhdeo
Farmhouse not within 33 mt purview
“ My farmhouse is in Kushalpura and does not come within 33.3 meters of the water body. And also there is a proper sewage line so no discharge is getting mixed with the water body. All petitions are related to encroachments and water pollution. Government officials after inspection had submitted its report in September 2022 in NGT.” Dr Subodh Varsheny