State govt faces flak for challenging NGT order on buffer zone

MP hits out at govt for siding with builders, instead of citizens

The state government’s decision to challenge in the Supreme Court the NGT order redefining buffer zones of lakes and stormwater drains drew flak.

In 2016, the NGT had passed an order increasing the buffer zone of the stormwater drains and lakes affecting many people, especially builders.

The NGT order was passed based on a petition by various citizens’ groups against Mantri Techzone Pvt Ltd and Core Mind Software and Services Pvt Ltd. Besides imposing a hefty penalty of Rs 130 crore on the two firms, NGT redefined the buffer zones of water bodies.

Mahalakshmi Parthasarathi, general secretary of the Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF), which is one of the petitioners in the NGT, said, “The government is not fulfilling its bounded duty of protecting its natural resources and keeping its citizens informed about its priorities. People will end up buying properties, which fall in the eco-sensitive zones.”

Another member of CAF N S Mukunda denounced the government saying that the citizens in Karnataka are facing the worst kind of crisis because the government has been supportive of that section of society, which believes in violating the rule of law. The government has not even implemented the old order of buffer zone limit, let alone the latest NGT order, said Mukunda. He added that the CAF is going to fight it out as vigorously as possible.

Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar hit out at the government for siding with the builders instead of citizens.

“It is shameful that the government is working on behalf of the builders instead of the ordinary citizens. On the one side, there are people, NGOs and environmentalists, while on the other, there is a government and the mighty builder lobby,” said Chandrasekhar.

He said he had predicted that the government will come to the aid of the builders, which finally came true.

He vowed to fight against the government in the Supreme Court and ensure that the citizens’ movement wins.

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