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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Bhopal, March 26, 2013
Pandemonium prevailed in Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the post-lunch session for over one-and-a-half hours on the proposal of laying the 11-km pipeline for supplying water to Bhounri area from Upper Lake at a cost of Rs. 17.28 crore. Congress corporators allege that it was being proposed under a conspiracy to help builders to sell plots and housing units in Bhounri area, where groundwater has depleted below 500 feet.

Congress corporators Rehan Golden, Abdul Shafiq, Meena Yadav, Shahid Ali, Girish Sharma and leader of Opposition Saghir Mohammad opposed the proposal, questioning why BMC should supply water from Upper Lake to an area that is outside the BMC limits. They questioned that when the BMC is unable to provide proper water supply in Bhopal, why it is bothered to supply water to Bhounri. “The state government or the nagar panchayat under which it falls should worry about how to supply water there. Actually there is a conspiracy to dry up the Upper Lake to allow some builders to encroach more land in its catchment area,” Saghir Mohammad alleged.

Defending the proposal, BJP corporators pointed that there were many Central government institutes located in this area where the students from Bhopal study and research. “Tomorrow what if people of Kolar or Hoshangabad question why water from Kolar reservoir or water from Narmada river was being supplied to people in Bhopal. And what is the problem if the builders in Bhounri have agreed to bear the expenses of this project,” said BJP corporator Krishen Mohan Soni.

But Congress didn’t budge from their stand. They warned that they won’t allow even a drop of water from Upper Lake to be supplied to Bhounri. Finally, the ruckus on Bhounri issue ended with the speaker announcing the framing of a seven-member committee that would look into the issue and present its report in the next BMC council meeting when the proposal would be reconsidered.