Green bench raps BBMP over houses built under HT lines

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the BBMP to submit a report on the status of illegal construction under high-tension power lines in north Bengaluru, failing which it would summon its chief. 

The NGT’s principal bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, is hearing a petition about homes and shops constructed illegally under high-transmission power lines in Ashwath Nagar, Thanisandra Main Road, BBMP ward number 6.

The petitioner, a resident of Bengaluru, contended that the construction violates the minimum safe distance rule. 

Adding to the problem, the petitioner said, stormwater drains connected to lakes have been encroached upon, leading to the discharge of untreated wastewater into these channels. Illegal construction and haphazard parking are blocking the road, too.  

The green tribunal admitted the petition and sought status and action-taken reports from the BBMP before July 5, 2019. The civic body failed to obey the court’s order. 

Censuring the BBMP, Justice Goel observed that because of its behaviour, the hearing had to be postponed thrice. The bench has now given the BBMP a final chance to submit the reports by January 9, 2020. 

“In view of the above, coercive measures may be necessary against BBMP. Before that, we give a last chance to furnish a report before the next date, failing which, there will be no option but to require the personal presence of the commissioner, BBMP, and taking coercive measures. A copy of the order be sent to BBMP directly as well as through the Resident Commissioner, Karnataka, at New Delhi by email (sic),” read the order. 

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