Apex court admits plea against NGT order to freeze PRR

Apex court admits plea against NGT order to freeze PRR

The Supreme Court on Friday admitted the Bangalore Development Authority’s plea, challenging the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, freezing the 65-km, eight-lane ring road project based on a five-year-old environmental clearance.

While orally observing that the project would be important for the city’s growing traffic needs, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta said the court would examine if a fresh green clearance is needed.

It posted the matter for detailed hearing on April 1 and issued notices to Sudhakar Hegde and others, whose plea prompted the NGT to freeze the project last month.

‘Indefinitely stayed’

Appearing for the BDA, advocates Shyam Divan and Sanjay M Nuli said the tribunal had “indefinitely stayed” the entire Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) phase 1 project proponent until a fresh environmental impact assessment is obtained.

This, they said, would result in cost escalations from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 12,000 crore. The PRR phase 1 connects Tumakuru Road with Hosur Road, cutting through Ballari Road and Old Madras Road.

Appearing for Hegde and others, advocate Nikhil Nayar said the project should have been completed within three years of the granting of the environmental clearance. He said the NGT had noted five years of delay and refused to allow the project on the basis of the previous environment impact assessment.

The BDA council said a decision has been made to realign the petroleum pipeline and fresh land is provided for trees.

The state government said the road was planned to address Bengaluru’s need for faster vehicular commutation, decongest existing roads and to connect the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (NICE Road) with more access points.