SC notice to Karnataka on buildings in lake catchment

The petitioner led by senior advocate Anitha Shenoy challenged the validity of the National Green Tribunal's order of January 24, this year. Photo/PTI

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Karnataka government and others on a plea alleging constructions of high-rise residential apartment buildings within the catchment area of Bellandur and Varthur lakes in Bengaluru, in violation of various statutory provisions.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice B R Gavai sought a response also from the BDA, the BBMP, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, on a petition filed by 71-year-old, Bengaluru resident Susheela.

The petitioner led by senior advocate Anitha Shenoy challenged the validity of the National Green Tribunal's order of January 24, this year. She contended there have been violations of building plan sanctioned by the BBMP in the constructions of 'Viceroy Splendor', 'Sharanya Arcade' and 'Sanjana Brundhavan'.

The constructions had continued in flagrant disregard to 'stop work' notice and the direction to maintain status quo by the authorities, she had said.

Besides, there have been violations of Environment Impact Assessment notification, 2006, building plan sanctioned by the BBMP and mandatory requirement of fire protection.

The petitioner alleged there have been violations of provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

However, in the matter, the NGT had abdicated its adjudicatory role and did not decide the substantial question of law related to the environment raised by the petitioner, she said. 

The green panel had said its orders passed on December 6, 2018, in case of D Kupendra Reddy, dealing with lake pollution of Bellandur, Agara and Varthur, would also cover the application filed by the petitioner.

Susheela, however, claimed her plea was distinct and raised the issue of unauthorised constructions in violation of EIA notification, 2006 and the Municipal law, hitting the doctrine of sustainable development.

The project proponent had illegally divided the single plot in an attempt to circumvent EIA notification, 2006 which was manifestly illegal, she said.

 

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