Approach NGT against project in ESZ, says SC

Approach NGT against project in ESZ, says SC

Kaikondarahalli lake

The Supreme Court has directed a man to approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) afresh with his plea alleging that a real estate firm was allowed construction of residential flats around eco-fragile Kaikondarahalli lake in Bengaluru in violation of the buffer zone and other laws.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Deepak Gupta told B Raghupathy, who claimed irregularities as well as a violation in granting permission to M/s New Ark Project, to bring these aspects to the notice of the green panel.

Raghupathy challenged NGT’s August 21 order, which found that the applicant has not approached the concerned authorities against the decision by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for granting consent for the construction of 72 residential flats.

The panel had also noted that the project was already at an advanced stage and no appeal was filed against KSPCB’s order.

The appellant’s counsel submitted that he had specifically urged about the violation of several environment acts. The consent given by KSPCB, by itself, cannot be the basis for permitting the project.

The top court said he was free to bring these factors before the tribunal. “However, if the review petition is dismissed, it will be open to the appellant to challenge the said order as well as the impugned order before this court,” the bench said. The appellant had claimed the project was at a distance of 320 metres from Kaikondarahalli lake and fell within the buffer zone of ‘Rajakaluve’ linked to the water body, as specified in the ‘Forward Foundation’ case.