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HomeNews Reports​Land mafia challenge Nitish Kumar's Jal Jeevan Hariyali Mission, ponds in Darbhanga encroached, vanish...

​Land mafia challenge Nitish Kumar’s Jal Jeevan Hariyali Mission, ponds in Darbhanga encroached, vanish overnight from under administration’s nose

A pond was stolen overnight in Bihar’s Darbhanga in the Kadirabad area which falls under the Vishwavidyalaya Police Station. When SDPO and Darbhanga city DSP Amit Kumar visited ward number 4 in the area, there were absolutely no signs of the Neem Pokhar pond, as if it never existed.

As per reports, the land mafia has been encroaching the land by filling up the pond with soil. Locals informed the police that some trucks and equipment were being brought to and fro the area through the night for days.

The police, finally acting on the repeated complaints by residents, visited the site but only after the filling of the pond was complete. The mafia has also erected a hut on the levelled land.

Residents have reportedly said that the illegal of filling the pond has been happening for the past one to two weeks. They revealed that hundreds of people used to be present whenever the levelling of the land was done.

Several earth-moving machines and vehicles were also deployed. As per reports, locals said that the police had visited the site a number of times before and had also seized equipment, yet, the administration was caught unawares when they found the pond-site levelled. Similarly, another pond was filled in the same area. Two people have been detained for interrogation.

DSP Kumar said, “The people living here have told us that the filling took place in the last 15 days. It was done mostly in the night hours. 10 to 15 vehicles and earth-moving equipment were deployed for this. We don’t have any information about who owns this land. The local police station in charge had earlier visited the site. He had also seized some of the equipment deployed here.”

“The local administration has also visited here earlier and they also went back after paying a visit. We will thoroughly investigate this case. We will convey this matter to the concerned officials. We will take the necessary steps in this case. Some people were filling up another pond nearby. We have detained two persons from that site for interrogation,” he added.

As per reports, locals were using the pond for breeding fish and also for growing water fruits and for other uses.

DSP Amit Kumar further added, “We received some complaint letters and some phone calls from the locals who complained that there are some government ponds in the locality. The products of these ponds like fish etc would be auctioned by the government. Locals told us that these ponds are being filled and levelled by some people. We took cognizance and informed the local police station and visited the place. We are questioning locals about how it all happened.”

Darbhanga has reeled under water shortage reportedly since 2005 despite being a water-rich region. Accessibiliy to drinking water had reduced significantly, especially during summers back in the days. Even as activists organised awareness drives and campaigns to save waterbodies, encroachment, mismanagement and mistreatment reduced the number of ponds in Darbhanga.

As per a report from 2020, Darbhanga had over 300 ponds till 1964. This number reduced to 213 by early 1990s. As of 2020, only 84 ponds remained, the report stated citing local urban body data. In this backdrop, the defiant land mafia has only been making matters worse moreso for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Jal Jeevan Hariyali Mission.

Bihar’s Jal Jeevan Hariyali mission is aimed at conserving water in the state. However, encroachment by land mafia on ponds is actively defeating Nitish’s mission.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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