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Pond sparks blame game

Duttapukur, a one-and-a-half bigha pond off Narasingha Dutta Road in Baranagar, has sparked tension — and a blame game — in this quiet locality.

A section of the residents, who have formed the Pukur Bachao Committee, allege that there have been attempts to illegally fill the pond. The West Bengal Inland Fisheries Act 1984 (amended in 1993) bars the filling of waterbodies measuring five cottah or more.

“The owner of the plot adjoining the water body has tried to increase his share of land by dumping rubbish on the southern edge of the pond. This is the only large pond in this area and we will need it in case of a fire,” said Bimal Bakshi, the committee president. The committee members had taken out a protest march earlier this month to save the pond.

“I have received complaints from the Pukur Bachao Committee. We will not tolerate any attempts to fill the pond,” said Anuradha Roy, the chairperson of Baranagar municipality. The pond is owned by the Duttas, who earlier owned large tracts of land in the area.

Pradip Srimany, who owns the land adjacent to the pond, denies the charge. “It’s a lie. Instead, the committee members have illegally constructed their office on my land without my consent,” he said. Srimany has filed a case against the committee in the Sealdah court.

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