Quash NGT’s lake buffer zone order, Karnataka tells SC

About 30,000 flat owners would lose their dwellings despite all clearances given by the state government.

The Karnataka government on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to overturn the National Green Tribunal’s direction affixing a 75-metre buffer zone around lakes in Bengaluru with retrospective effect. The NGT’s order would put over 30,000 flat owners at the risk of losing their properties.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer agreed to consider the matter finally on Tuesday next week as counsel for the state government and real estate developers and NGO Forward Foundation submitted that it could be heard and decided within a couple of hours.

Karnataka’s Advocate General Udaya Holla submitted before the court that the state government has filed an appeal against the NGT’s order which had issued a general direction for the creation of 75-metre buffer zones around lakes disregarding the existing statutes, regulations and rules.

“All activities remained stalled due to the directions. About 30,000 flat owners would lose their dwellings despite all clearances given by the state government,” he said.

Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, representing real estate developers, submitted that with the orders, there was complete status quo.

The NGT’s principal bench had on May 4, 2016, directed maintaining a buffer zone and green belt of 75 metres in case of lakes, 50 metres for primary, 35 metres for secondary and 25 metres for tertiary raja kaluves. The Karnataka government, BBMP and real estate developers, including Mantri Techzone, Core Mind Software and Services Pvt Ltd, and others, filed separate petitions contending that the NGT has, in effect, amended the validly enacted Revised Master Plan 2015, by increasing the distance of the buffer zone from 30 metres to 75 metres in the case of lakes and by changing the methodology by which the buffer zone in case of raja kaluves was to be measured.

The NGT’s order was passed on a plea by NGO ‘Forward Foundation’. The top court, however, had subsequently stayed the order of slapping about Rs 139.85 crore fine on two Bengaluru-based realty developers for carrying out construction projects in violation of environmental norms near Bellandur and Agara lakes wetland area in the garden city.

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Quash NGT’s lake buffer zone order, Karnataka tells SC

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