Despite NGT stay, BDA to seek funds for PRR project

Plans to table the proposal at the investors' meet

Despite the National Green Tribunal’s interim stay on the environment clearance for the proposed Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project, the Bangalore Development Authority is going ahead with its plan to table the proposal at the Invest Karntaka-2016, global investors meet, seeking funding for the mega infrastructure project.

The NGT bench in Chennai had granted an interim stay on April 27, 2015 in the appeal (27/2015) filed by Bengaluru residents Sudhakar Hegde and M V K Anil Kumar. They had challenged the order dated November 20, 2014, (SEIAA/ 32/IND/2009) issued by State Environment Impact Assessment Agency granting environmental clearance for the PRR. The tribunal had posted the matter to December 4, 2015, which was called off due to heavy floods in Chennai.

Contempt notice
The case is now listed for February 8. According to the case file, the BDA is yet to appear in the matter. Soon after learning that the BDA was going ahead with international competitive bidding for PRR project,  the appellants got issued a contempt notice to the civic agency on January 19. The NGT order stated that the environmental clearance had been granted without considering the necessary parameters and overruling the objections raised by the appellants even prior to and during the public hearing.

The order also refers to some issues such as the road passing through reserve forest, forest clearances to be obtained, permission from Horticulture and Forest departments for felling trees and the underground pipeline transporting petroleum from Mangaluru to Bengaluru.

When contacted, State Environment Impact Assessment Agency (SEIAA) Member Secretary Ramachandra said that he was aware of the NGT order and the BDA had to look into it.

Environmental clearance
Another senior official of SEIAA pointed that going by the rule book, PRR project did not require environmental clearance as it did not fall under the state or national highway category. However, the BDA wanted environmental clearance as this would help them get loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The BDA Engineer Member, P N Nayak told Deccan Herald that they had not received any notice or order so far. He said that they have gone by the rules and obtained environmental clearances. “Hence project has been listed in the Invest Karnataka-2016 agenda. If there is any anomaly, the SEIAA has to look into it,” he opined.
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