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Cops stop pond landfill

Police have slapped a stop-work notice on Bharat Sevashram Sangha after receiving complaints from local residents that it was filling up a pond off its Cornfield Road premises.

A team from Gariahat police station visited the Sangha centre on Wednesday and asked the authorities to produce an approval letter from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) for the landfill. As the Sangha failed to produce the letter, the stop-work notice was issued.

A Sangha spokesman said only the edges of the waterbody were being filled for 'creating embankments'. The landfill, he added, was stopped immediately after the notice was received.

'A local resident told us over the phone that the Sangha had been filling up the waterbody for the past couple of weeks,' said Dulal Chakraborty, officer-in-charge of Gariahat police station. 'We rushed to the site and asked the Sangha authorities to show us the CMC's clearance certificate. They said they had applied for approval, but had not yet received it. We then issued the stop-work notice and told the authorities that work could resume only after the civic approval is obtained.'

Faiyaz Ahmed Khan, mayoral council member (parks and gardens), said: 'No work can be carried out without the CMC's clearance. Besides, even a partial filling up of a pond is not allowed. I will inquire into the allegation on Friday and take action accordingly.'

Denying the charges, Sangha spokesperson Swami Biswatmananda said: 'There is no question of filling up the pond. We are carrying out a beautification drive, for which the perimeter of the pond has to be made slightly smaller. We have stopped work and are waiting for the CMC's clearance, which may come in a couple of days.'

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