Order of the National Green Tribunal on the encroachment of Budhi talab, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, 23/06/2021

  • 23/06/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Central Zone Bench, Bhopal) in the matter of Jeevan Lal Barbaiya Vs State of Madhya Pradesh & Others dated 23/06/2021 regarding encroachment of Budhi talab (water body) in Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh.

In the early days, the Budhi talab used to be full of water, but in recent plast, the water level has substantially decreased due to encroachments in its catchment area. The applicant (Jeevan Lal Barbaiya) has requested that the Budhi talab in khasra no. 43 measuring 0.750 hectare should be made free from encroachment and that patta/lease be granted in favour of the applicant for fishery.

The court was also informed that some officials from the  Nagar Palika Parishad, Balaghat are in connivance with the local land mafias who developed an illegal colony by encroaching on the land waterbody.

A report filed by the Collector, Balaghat and Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board has said that 16 persons have encroached the land by making construction and a letter from the Nagar Palika Parishad, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, June 20, 2019 was sent to all the 16 persons with the direction for removal of encroachment.

The report also said that the water quality of the talab as per IS 2296-1982 was in class D.

The court observed that public trust doctrine says that the property of the public should be utilized for the public purposes and not for private purposes and should be made available to all for maintaining the health and environment. The Collector, Balaghat has been directed by the Tribunal to constitute a committee and ensure that no untreated water/sewage water be discharged into the water bodies. The committee has to ensure the removal of encroachments within a specific time frame, in accordance with law and the area of the water body must be demarcated by the revenue authorities. A further action taken and compliance report has to be submitted by the committee within two months.