Encroachments along Buddha Nullah push it to brink of breach
Residents of New Kundanpuri are furious over the failure of the administration in removing 20ft-wide encroachments along the Buddha Nullah, which have consequently reduced the width of the drain in that area in the past three decades.
The residents are ruing that they have to bear the brunt as the nullah tends to overflow almost every year and drain lines are also choked. The area had submerged after the Saturday rains, while the nullah overflowed as a result of downpour witnessed in the city earlier this month.
The residents have alleged that the violators, in connivance with local politicians, have encroached upon about 20ft space by constructing houses and labour quarters on the land that once was a part of the nullah.
The encroachment has reduced the width of the drain and affected its water-holding capacity, pushing it towards the verge of breach.
One of the residents of New Kundanpuri area, Avtar Singh, said about 25 years ago, the nullah used to flow next to his house.
“But now, bank of the nullah has gone more than 20ft away from my house. A structure has come up on the encroached land, while sand and waste dot the remaining 10ft. Over 50 houses have been constructed next to the bank of the nullah, which is a clear case of encroachment. Though the authorities had come up with the plan to raze encroachments few years ago, the process remained only on papers,” he added.
Another resident, Ratan Singh, said rainwater from most of the old city areas such as Domoria bridge and Guru Nanak Pura accumulates in their area, which is low-lying. “Our area also suffers as the capacity of nullah has been reduced due to encroachments. On top of that, the drain lines here are also blocked. But the authorities are not paying heed to this problem,” he added.
The special task force (STF) formed by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for cleaning the Buddha Nullah had also asked the administration and municipal corporation (MC) to remove the encroachments. The task force is headed by head of Naamdhari Sect Satguru Uday Singh and a meeting regarding this was held in June.
Meanwhile, MC commissioner Kanwalpreet kaur Brar said the drainage department was already working to demarcate the encroachments alongside the Buddha Nullah. “As per the information, the drainage department has also initiated the process. The drainage department officials have even issued few notices,” she added.
Rising level of Sutlej leaves residents worried
The rising level of the Sutlej has also left the residents living in the vicinity of the nullah worried as the drain meets the river in Walipur village. If the level of river rises, the water in Buddha Nullah will not drain out and it will overflow.
MC officials, however, said the water flow through the Buddha Nullah is regular presently. It might create a problem in the areas close to the nullah if the level of Sutlej rises, they added.