With the Madhya Pradesh government identifying a list of encroachments in the 33-metre greenbelt on either side of the 36-km long Kaliasote river and its riverbed, people living in the area are having sleepless nights, fearing the government might start demolishing their residences.
Following a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, the authorities have completed the demarcation process and is preparing a list of encroachments that it has to submit to the tribunal on the next hearing on October 8, said environmentalist Subash Pandey, who had filed the case in the NGT on encroachments in the greenbelt and riverbed of Kaliasote.
Shivraj Dabi, who lives in Sagar Premium Plaza, said three blocks of their colony with around 200 flats were partially encroaching on the greenbelt.
“If the government goes ahead with the demolition process, can they demolish a building partly? That is not possible. They either have to demolish the entire building or nothing at all,” he said.
He said the residents in the area were contemplating approaching the court in this regard because it was not their fault that the flat they purchased was partially built in the greenbelt.
Another resident Deepak Pandey, who lives in the Mandakini Colony, said when even the government wasn’t clear about the boundary of the greenbelt, how could the buyers have known.
“The authorities should have known the exact boundaries and come down heavily on those who built structures in the greenbelt or the river bed,” he said.
Speaking to HT, Subash Pandey said there were over 27 colonies and housing projects that have come up along the Kaliasote river and around 256 khasras were close to the river bank, which were being examined for violations by the authorities.
Sub divisional magistrate (SDM) of Huzur, through which Kaliasote river flows, said their revenue teams had completed the demarcation process and identified the green belt.
“Now, it is the town and country planning directorates and the Bhopal Municipal Corporation which will identify the encroachments and submit the same before the NGT,” she said.
In August last year, the NGT had directed the MP government to remove encroachments from the greenbelt on either side of the Kaliasote river and its riverbed.
The bench had also directed the state government to demarcate the greenbelt of the river and explore areas along the river where there was a need to construct sewerage treatment plants.
In December last year, Madhya Pradesh State Pollution Control Board in its report stated that of the 27 colonies and housing projects along the Kaliasote river, 16 sites were found to be discharging untreated waste directly into the Kaliasote river.
The 36-km long Kaliasote river is a tributary of Betwa river in Huzur tehsil of Bhopal district. It starts from Kaliasote dam near Chuna Bhatti in Bhopal and flows into Betwa river near Bhojpur Temple in Raisen district.
The Kaliasote dam was built as a reservoir to conserve water of the Upper Lake, discharged through the Bhadbhada dam spill gates.