Bhopal: MPTDC Moves SC, Seeks Nod To Operate Cruise, Motorboats On Upper Lake

Bhopal: MPTDC Moves SC, Seeks Nod To Operate Cruise, Motorboats On Upper Lake

NGT ban has cost Rs 80L to corporation to date, Boat Club has lost key attraction

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 11:46 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) has moved Supreme Court recently seeking permission to operate cruise and motorboats on Upper Lake in Bhopal and Sankhya Sagar Lake in Shivpuri. National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned the operation of cruise and motorboats on Upper Lake and Sankhya Sagar Lake inside Madhav National Park in Shivpuri district on September 14 this year. The MPTDC has suffered a loss of Rs 80 lakh over past three months due to the ban. The NGT had banned the operation of all motorised vessels in water bodies in wetlands designated as Ramsar sites.

Madhya Pradesh has four Ramsar sites - Bhoj Wetland in Bhopal, Sankhya Sagar in Shivpuri and Yashwant Sagar Lake and Sirpur Lake, both in Indore. Of these, MPTDC was operating one cruise named Lake Princess and six motorboats on Upper Lake and one mini cruise and two-three motorboats on Sankhya Sagar. All the vessels are no longer operating. “We have filed petition in Supreme Court seeking relaxation of NGT order for us as our motorboats and cruises are non-polluting and we strictly follow pollution norms,” Commander Rajendra Nigam, Technical Adviser, Water and Adventure Sports, MPTDC told Free Press.

The petition may come up for hearing in January, he said. Nigam said they are also prepared to operate boats with electrical propulsion. “But even for that, we will need SC clearance for NGT has banned the operation of all motorised vessels,” he said. Nigam said Lake Princess was the biggest attraction for tourists. “Almost everyday, the cruise was booked for birthday parties, pre-wedding shoots, shootings for films, web series etc,” he said, adding that revenue loss was not the major issue for MPTDC.

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