SC notice to State on race course land allotment

SC notice to State on race course land allotment

A bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Ashok Kumar Ganguly directed the Centre and the State government to file their response in three weeks.

Advocate Gopal Sankaranayanan submitted there was a need to ensure the protection of tank beds, which act as a sponge for rain water.

“The Karnataka government be restrained from interfering with the current status of tank beds in the State, and most particularly the 152-acre extent in Chikkajala/ Doddajala in north Bangalore where the BTC racecourse is to be shifted,” said the application filed in the M K Balakrishnan & Ors petition.

The State government has decided to allot 95.32 acres of the 152-acre tank bed at Yelahanka to the BTC. The adjoining area of 56 acres is covered by a water body, while the entire extent of the land sought to be converted through levelling and construction into a race course is pure tank bed, which enables ground water absorption.

The application said as per the 2001 policy paper of the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Orissa accounted for 60 per cent of the country’s tank-irrigated area, and they had lost as much as 37 per cent of their area from 1965 to 2000.

In Bangalore, a study by the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, found that the tank and lake cover had come down by over 2,300 acres between 1975 and 2005, leading to an adverse impact on the environment.

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