Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding encroachment of areas around Bhoj wetland, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, 21/03/2023

  • 21/03/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Central Zonal Bench, Bhopal) in the matter of Rashid Noor Khan Vs BMC & Others dated 21/03/2023.

The complaint was that the Bhopal Municipal Corporation is permitting construction of permanent and semi-permanent nature around Bhoj wetland - which is prohibited under Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. It was said that the lake is now under threat and "there are continuous constructions (as alleged) falling within the Full Tank Level (FTL), cutting of trees, deep holes dug for construction of permanent pillars violating the environmental rules and provisions of Ramsar Convention".

The NGT, March 21 noted that activities which have been enumerated in the application are against the provisions of Wetland Rules, 2017 and are without any permission from the competent authority and also against the order, March 16, 2022 issued by the Environment Department, Madhya Pradesh. The NGT directed that no construction be permitted within the area in violation of environment rules and against the provisions contained in the government order no. 32/233/2022/32-3 dated March 16, 2022.

The committee constituted for the purpose in its report to the court said that there are approximately 22 numbers of column footings observed. Some of them are raised up to and above ground level and rest are not started. The committee also observed cutting remains of the plants/trees at the project site and activities carried out in the area without any authority of the state/competent authorities which may change the slope and gradient of the site at a later stage. The activities are reported to be done by the Tourism Department/Corporation of Madhya Pradesh.

The NGT directed the Tourism Department and Madhya Pradesh to submit the reply citing the actions taken. The National Green Tribunal (Central Zone Bench, Bhopal) directed that the copy of the order be sent to the Secretary, Environment for taking necessary actions and to ensure that no prohibited activity should be done in the area in violation of the Wetland Rules, 2017.