The top off of lakes and wetlands in North 24-Parganas proceeds unabated with the organization turning a visually impaired eye to voices raised by residents and green activists. The most recent prey to land sharks is a one-bigha lake at Nimta in North Dum where earth and refuse is being dumped with exemption to top off the waterbody. Endeavors by local people to draw the consideration of the organization has gone futile.
At the point when a TOI group went by the lake site close Nimta Post Office Mor off MB Road in ward No. 26 in North Dum region, it found a bit of the 17-cottah lake – the main surviving waterbody in the zone – had as of now been eaten up. “Earth has been dumped to cut out a 3-cottah plot from the lake. Local people were even urged to dump their junk into the lake and they started doing as such till some green activists ventured in and made individuals mindful of the need to keep the lake alive. Be that as it may, once local people quit dumping trash, a posse drew in by promoters began dumping soil in a frantic offer to top off the lake,” a nearby inhabitant said.
A North Dum-based environment society “Basundhara” framed by nearby young people, including green activists, made a valiant endeavor to spare the wetland. “We dispatched the development against the filling of no less than three lakes in the territory. We even planted trees on the banks of lakes alongside local people. We engaged the neighborhood MLA, metropolitan power and West Bengal Pollution Control Board. Be that as it may, two lakes were at that point topped off and development is in progress there. Presently, the last lake is being usurped by promoters,” said an individual from ‘Basundhara’.
The activists asserted a nexus between political pioneers and designers had prompted the inaction, bringing about the loss of waterbodies. “A prior endeavor to top off the lake couldn’t succeed taking after firm resistance from local people. In any case, now with the support of some political pioneers of the decision party, they have started topping off the lake conspicuously,” a dissident said.
A late study on social and ecological effects in north Kolkata uncovered that land sharks are assuming control every critical wetland in the belt. The land blast in Dum, Lake Town, Patipukur, Rajarhat, Baranagar, Kamarhati, Panihati, Sodepur and Barrackpore has set off the vanishing of lakes that once specked these ranges.
Local people said lawbreakers had topped off two waterbodies – a 97-cottah lake at Birati’s Rishi Arabinda Park close Dum Airport and another 13-cottah lake on Dinanath Chatterjee Street in ward No. 19 in Kamarhati region – in the later past. An endeavor to top off another 1.5 bigha lake at Khudiram Pally close Nandannagar in Belgharia even drove a conflict between two gatherings.
“Groups of lawbreakers now control all development exercises in ranges such as Dum, Lake Town, Patipukur, Rajarhat and Barasat. They take cash from a segment of deceitful promotors to do unlawful exercises like lake filling while coercing cash from different developers. The stakes are high to the point that turf war breaks out between adversary posses all the time,” the sources said.
Promoters need to hack up Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh to the wears, contingent upon how dreaded he is, before work can begin on a land venture. The rates go up significantly if a promoter needs to change over a lake or fabricate a highrise expanding on a debated plot. A cop of Barrackpore Commissionerate said some famous culprits had likewise been captured on the premise of particular protestations of topping off lakes.
With promoters and packs working with exemption, land costs have shot up in the belt. This has thusly pulled in more offenders. “Plots along VIP Road and BT Road that got Rs 5 lakh for each cottah five years back now offer for Rs 20-25 lakh. Cost of lofts has taken off from Rs 1,200-1,500 for every sq ft to Rs 4,500-5,000 for each sq ft,” a real estate broker said.
An executive in-board individual from North Dum district recognizes that lakes are being filled “illicitly” to construct loft structures. “We are attempting all endeavors to stop this with the assistance of fisheries division. The sum total of what councilors have been cautioned against any association with such exercises,” he said.