Lying in neglect, vacant plots in Salt Lake turn garbage dumps

Encroachers Take Over Land With Govt Boards

Kolkata: 25 March, 2019 (Times of India)

Kolkata: The empty plots in Salt Lake, which are lying in utter neglect, have turned into garbage dumps and become home to unauthorized settlers.

A few years ago, the state urban development department, the custodian of Salt Lake plots, had identified nearly 50 such vacant plots lying unused across the township for several years and put up boards on them, identifying them as ‘government land’ to prevent any unscrupulous and illegal construction on the plots.

However, with no proper monitoring and clean-up work either by the urban development authorities or the local Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, the plots have either been taken over by unauthorised settlers or are lying in utter neglect with garbage and litter thrown all over them.

TOI recently took a look at some of these vacant plots. At BE Block, one such plot was encroached by an eatery at one side and by ragpickers on the other.

In the nearby BD block, another plot has been taken over by a nursery with a bamboo structure set up on it. On the canal side road in AE Block, a plot has been turned into a dumpyard with people littering all over the place.

State urban development officials, however, said constant monitoring was being done. “The department’s reclamation division is constantly keeping an eye on the vacant plots to see whether there is any encroachment. The civic authorities have been asked to keep the plots clean,” said a senior urban development department official.

Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation MMiC (solid waste disposal) Devasish Jana said the civic authorities took up cleaning activities earlier and asked the local ward committees to look into the issue.

“We are concerned over the matter of people throwing garbage in vacant plots, but it is not possible to notice every nook and corner of the blocks and take up cleaning activities centrally. The local ward committee should keep tabs,” he said.

Garbage dumped on a vacant plot at AE Block and illegal encroachment on plots at BD (above right) and BE (right) Blocks