Power station at Puttenahalli Lake: HC notices to state

Power station at Puttenahalli Lake: HC notices to state

Karnataka High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, state and Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) over setting up of a gas-based combined cycle power plant near the environmentally-sensitive Puttenahalli Lake.

Karnataka High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, state and Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) over setting up of a gas-based combined cycle power plant near the environmentally-sensitive Puttenahalli Lake.

The lake has been designated a bird reserve. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari heard a PIL by Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake and Bird Conservation Trust seeking directions to the Centre considering its representation to take action against the KPCL for illegal environmental clearances.

They also asked the court to direct the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the state department of environment, ecology and forest to take steps to preserve the Puttenahalli Bird Reserve.

The petitioner objects to the KPCL setting up the gas-based combined cycle power plant within 500 metres of the lake. They say the plant would destroy the Puttenahalli and Yelahanka lakes, besides tearing down the network of Rajakaluves and affecting the city’s fragile lake ecosystem.

They said KPCL obtained environmental clearance violating the law without considering the serious impact on the lake. The Forest Department has issued a notification declaring Puttenahalli lake –a bird sanctuary- as a ‘bird conservation reserve’’ under Section 36 (A) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

The state government recognised that the lake hosts 127 species of birds of ecological, faunal and floral importance.

They also say that state agencies support their efforts to conserve the lakes, while approval to the power plant in an ecologically sensitive area would result in its complete destruction.

They also claim that the environmental clearances issued on September 1, 2015, is void since it was granted without jurisdiction. The respondents also failed to consider the representations made by the Trust.

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