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Award-Winning Poet from Madhya Pradesh Served House Demolition Notice

Mahesh Katare Sugam, who claims to possess all the relevant documents, feels he has been served the notice for raising local issues.
Mahesh Katare Sugam

Mahesh Katare Sugam. Image Courtesy: Twitter

Bhopal: Well-known Hindi and Bundeli poet Mahesh Katare Sugam has received a house demolition notice from Madhya Pradesh’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for raising local issues through his poems and complaining on the CM Helpline.

Katare, his wife and son have been staying at Madhur Colony, located at Chandrashekhar Ward, in Bina Municipal Council of Sagar District, since 2011. On August 4, he received a notice in the name of his son Prabhat Katare alleging that his house was built illegally and without approval, a violation of Section 187(8) of the MP Municipality Act, 1962, and is a punishable offence.

The notice asked Katare to produce the relevant documents of his house or else the “illegal” structure will be demolished and the charges of removing the “encroachment” will be recovered from him.

First of all, the notice was served in my son’s name Prabhat Katare although the house is registered in his mother’s name Meera Katre. Secondly, I took the required building permission and got the layout approved by the corporation on March 26, 2011. Besides, I have been paying municipal taxes since then,” Katare told Newsclick.

When asked why has he been served the notice if the house documents are correct, Katare said, “There are more than 1,000 homes in Madhur Colony majority of which have been built illegally. After constructing my house in 2011, I complained to officials to provide basic amenities, including roads, water, electricity and proper drainage,” to the colony.”

Katare, who received several awards, including the Hindi Akademi Award in 2017, added, “With the support of my son, who runs a pathology lab, I have been complaining on CM Helpline and to local officials. To drum up public support, I often write poems like Nagar Palika So Rahi Bhaiya and Bina Nagri Ro Rahi Bhaiya and recite them on public platforms. It may have not gone down well with the officials.”

The poet alleged that a municipal council official visited the colony urging him to withdraw one of his complaints and that the problems in the colony will be fixed in return. “I received this notice days after I withdrew the complaint.”

Despite repeated attempts, collector Sagar Deepak Arya did not respond to calls. Municipal council CMO Surekha Jatav refused to tell the reason for issuing the notice. “I don’t know why he has been served the notice,” he told Newsclick

Satyam Devaliya, an engineer with the council, told Newsclick, “More than 60-70 people in Bina have been served notices in the last two weeks on reports submitted by revenue officers. The colony where poet Katare lives is illegal and the developer was also served notice in the past. If he [Katare] possesses the relevant documents, no action would be taken action against him.”   

Madhya Pradesh has recently witnessed a wave of cases in which the houses of the accused in petty cases have been demolished without proper notice and following rules.

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