Green tribunal closes matter over city apartment

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has closed the proceedings related to SJR WaterMark, an apartment complex on the banks of Kaikondrahalli Lake in southeastern Bengaluru, after noting that the issues related to the permission for the project were pending before the High Court of Karnataka and the Supreme Court. 

"The fact remains that the very same issue is (the) subject matter of consideration inter-parties in the High Court of Karnataka and Supreme Court. Thus, it will not be appropriate for this tribunal to continue parallel proceedings on the same issue," the NGT headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said. 

The panel ordered that the proceedings about the validity of the building plan and the licence for the K N Mohan Building will stand closed as far as the tribunal is concerned, subject to any order passed by the high court or the top court. 

The tribunal noted that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had cancelled and revoked the building plan on January 1, 2018, with immediate effect. The builder took the matter to the high court which passed certain interim orders. The top court is now hearing petitions against the interim orders. 

K S Ravi had filed an application before the tribunal, urging it to cancel or revoke the licence or permission granted to the project as it is within the buffer zone specified for lakes and other waterbodies in Karnataka. Advocate Nishanth Patil, representing Mohan, having a share in the project, submitted that it should not be interfered with. 

The 529-unit apartment complex, being developed by SJR Prime Corporation, is said to be less than 10 metres from the edge of Kaikondrahalli Lake as against the requirement of 30 metres that would act as a buffer zone where no development and construction is allowed. Curiously, in the Forward Foundation case, the tribunal had fixed the buffer zone at 75 metres. The petitioner claimed that the project also violates the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976. 

  • National Green Tribunal