SC refuses to tinker NGT diktat on lake buffer zones, SWDs in Bengaluru

SC refuses to tinker NGT diktat on lake buffer zones, SWDs in Bengaluru

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to modify its order recording readiness of real estate developers to comply with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directions on protecting buffer zones around lakes and storm water drains in Bengaluru.
“The order was dictated in presence of the counsel. It is very specific order,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told senior advocate R Venkataramani, appearing for Mantri Techzone and others.

Venkataramani contended if the order passed on November 11, 2016 was not clarified and modified, he would not be able to argue on the appeals filed by the companies as well as the state government.

“We are contesting the directions by the NGT with regard to 75 metres buffer zone. It would mean virtually giving up our appeal,” he said.
Limited relief
The bench, however, pointed out that the relief granted by the court was only to the extent of payment of penalty imposed on the developers.
The top court had in November last asked the real estate developer (Mantri) to approach the NGT with its plea for resuming construction activities in Bengaluru. The court had clarified its earlier order of May 12, 2016 directing status quo would not come in the way, if the tribunal was satisfied with the request for resuming construction.
The court had in May stayed Rs 117 crore penalty imposed on the developer by the NGT for encroachment of water bodies in Bengaluru. It had also asked all the builders not to construct within 75 metres of lakes and 50 metres of storm water drains in the city as per the direction of the NGT on May 4.

On Friday, as the court refused to budge, Venkataramani preferred not to press his application, prompting the bench to describe the plea “dismissed as not pressed”.

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