Don't start work on steel flyover till Jan 18: NGT

The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday directed the Bengaluru Development Authority not to start work on the contentious steel flyover till January 18, 2017.

Its southern bench in Chennai said, “No construction activities or anything pertaining to it should be undertaken.’’

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by Citizens Action Forum (CAF) and former Karnataka additional chief secretary S Balasubramaniam. The BDA again pleaded for the stay, ordered on October 28, to be vacated.

N S Mukunda, petitioner and founder of CAF, said flyover contractors Larsen & Toubro had promised the court they would abide by its orders. The tribunal, however, said the BDA could carry out soil testing and sample surveys.

P N Nayak, BDA engineer-member, said the BDA would immediately start on whatever is allowed by the court.

A BDA official said the project was moving closer to reality as the tribunal had on Tuesday allowed two preliminary steps.

But those opposing the project don’t think so. Rajeev Chandrashekar, MP, said the court’s remarks could in no way be construed as favouring the flyover. Srinivasa Alavilli of Citizens for Bengaluru said the BDA should give up the flyover project and improve public transport.

The project calls for environmental clearances and many organisations, including the National Highway Authority of India and the defence ministry, have not given their approval to it.

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