Green okay must for steel flyover: NGT

Green okay must for steel flyover: NGT

Two weeks after the government scrapped its controversial steel flyover plan, the National Green Tribunal ruled such a project cannot be executed without environmental clearance.

Dismissing the government’s contention, the NGT bench in Chennai said it was “an area development project” requiring environmental clearance. According to Section 8(b) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification of 2006, any area development plan requires environmental clearance from the Centre, the tribunal observed.

Following a public outcry, and anticipating an adverse verdict from the NGT, the Siddaramaiah government had shelved the Rs 1,650-crore project on March 2.

Mukundan of Citizens Action Forum (CAF) and V Balasubramanian, former additional chief secretary of Karnataka, had petitioned the tribunal saying the government had not obtained the necessary clearance.

The project was proposed by BDA, and L&T was given the contract to build it.
Speaking to DH, Balasubramanian said, “The government gave excuses that the project was only an expansion of the existing road. The NGT ruling has vindicated our stand.”

The petitioners’ main contention was that the government had done no environmental impact assessment though the project, connecting Basaveshwara Circle and the Hebbal flyover, involved felling of 800 trees.

The project would have also violated the lake buffer zone, they submitted.

Balasubramanian does not see the project being revived. “A committee has to be constituted with renowned environmentalists and experts. It is a lengthy process. I don’t think the government will go ahead,” he said.

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