Work on lake bed: Violation of court order alleged

Work on lake bed: Violation of court order alleged

Construction activities are allegedly being carried out on the Bellandur-Agara lake bed in violation of the stay order granted by the National Green Tribunal.

Three City-based organisations - The Forward Foundation, Praja RAAG and Bangalore Environment Trust - have filed a complaint alleging that continuing with the construction amounts to contempt of court.

The Tribunal had granted stay “looking into the serious damage” that would be caused to the largest fresh water body in the City, if the project was allowed to continue.

On April 16, the NGT had directed two real estate developers, Mantri Techzone Private Limited and Coremind Software and Services Private Limited to stop all construction activities on the lake bed.

The land around Agara lake was allotted to the two firms for industrial development, a few years ago. Residents in the vicinity objected to the huge project on the ecologically sensitive land.

A team from the Centre for Ecological Studies, Indian Institute of Science, which visited the site, had noticed several violations and recommended cancellation of the project.

A report from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, which investigated the project, found that the promoters had violated key conditions imposed while granting environmental clearance.

The construction is allegedly being carried out on 80 acres between the two lakes (Agara-Bellandur). The NGT bench had observed that the construction activity will destroy the lake and cause irreversible damage to the water bodies.

A trustee of Forward Foundation confirmed to have witnessed construction on the site even after the grant of stay.

On the other hand, Namma Bengaluru Foundation has filed a public interest litigation in the High Court of Karnataka seeking regulation of construction activities on the rajakaluve leading to Agara and Bellandur lakes.

The Court, while taking note of the NGT stay order, has directed issue of notices to the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board, Bangalore Development Authority and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. The matter has been posted to July 18.

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