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BMC thumbs up violates order

VIOLATING the Government order and its own decision, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) granted permission to run the cruise boat in Upper Lake. The Government order prevents use of the public spaces, including water bodies for any purpose other than original ? in this case drinking water supply.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 13:54 IST

VIOLATING the Government order and its own decision, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) granted permission to run the cruise boat in Upper Lake. The Government order prevents use of the public spaces, including water bodies for any purpose other than original – in this case drinking water supply.

Through an order (No: 3654/3316/04/10-2) issued on October 8, 2004, the State Government directed all the municipal corporations, including the BMC to follow the amendment in the Municipal Corporation Act 1956. The notification of this amendment was issued on October 25, 2003.

The permission is also a violation of the BMC’s own decision taken in the year 2000 that banned running of motorboats on the Upper Lake. According to the amendment, all the properties like water bodies, play grounds, parks, gardens and other public spaces would not be used for other purposes.

Moreover, the letter said the municipal bodies would not grant any permission for other use of such places and water bodies. The order was circulated to all the zonal offices of the BMC this year when a complaint was registered that Yatayat Park near Raj Bhawan was used for a marriage without legal permission.

Besides the order, the BMC Council itself had taken a decision in 2000 that motorboats wo-uld not be allowed in the Upper La-ke. Moreover, the Bhoj Wetland Project had also recommended the ban on running all motorboats in the Upper Lake. An amount of Rs 250 crore was spent on the conservation of Upper Lake under the Bhoj Wetland Project.

When asked, BMC Commissioner Manish Singh said that he issued conditional permission for this cruise boat on a report of Lake Conservation Authority. He said the BMC officials would check the cruise boat at the regular intervals.

Similarly, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Alka Upadhyay also said the cruise boat is being run with due permission from the BMC. The corporation’s official also said that the running of cruise boat is totally safe as far as environmental aspect is concerned.

Surprisingly, Mayor Sunil Sood said that no such application for the permission came before him. Sood said the BMC is not authorised to issue such permission as the Upper Lake water is only meant for the drinking purpose. It is a policy matter related to the BMC council, he said.

On the other hand, Lake Conservation Authority (LCA) Senior Research Officer Sanjeev Sachdev said the LCA has given certain suggestions for running the cruise boat. A senior BMC official wondered whether the BMC could grant the similar permission for any private agency to run the motorboats or cruise boat. He said that the concept is taken from Hyderabad’s Hussain Sagar Lake, which is not a drinking water source.

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 13:54 IST