NGT order sends lake-side flat owners into a tizzy

Future appears uncertain for apartments built within 75 metres of the lakes, the new buffer zone. DH file photo

NGT order sends lake-side  flat owners into a tizzy

The order of the National Green Tribunal order defining the buffer zone of the lakes and their Rajakaluves (feeder canals) has sent many people who have constructed houses or flats close to the lakes and Rajakaluves into a tizzy.

The NGT order defines the buffer zones for construction around the lakes to be 75 metres and not 30 metres. Similarly, the revised buffer zone for the Rajakaluves will be 50 meters, 35 metres and 25 metres for primary, secondary and tertiary drains respectively.

The order says that there should be no construction activity within the buffer zone and existing structures in such areas should be razed. If implemented in its totality, the order may lead to a large- scale destruction across Bengaluru and displacement of lakhs of people.

Among those affected by the order are many builders including Mantri Developers, Coremind and Puravankara. While Mantri Developers became the prime reason for the order, Keppel Puravankara of Puravankara Builders is just 20 metres from the Sarakki Lake. During the demolition drive to remove encroachment on Sarakki Lake two years ago, the district authorities had razed a portion of the boundary wall of the apartment.

Reacting to the order, a Puravankara spokesperson said, “We have read about the recent NGT order in the media. We will be in a position to comment only after the detailed order is released. The Keppel Puravankara project has been developed and handed over after obtaining all the requisite approvals/NOCs/OCs, as per the prevalent byelaws.” Mantri Developers preferred to comment only after receiving the order copy.

Many people who have built their individual houses around the lakes and Rajakaluves are taken aback by the order.

Jayaram Reddy, who lives near the Subramanyapura Lake said, “The NGT order may not be final as people will approach the Supreme Court, which will give us relief. We have to see how the government reacts to the ruling.”

Rachana B, whose house escaped the wrath of district authorities during the demolition drive at Sarakki, said the order made her anxious as the new definition of buffer zone may threaten her dwelling.

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