The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered an interim stay on the mega-project coming up on the land between Bellandur and Agara lakes, in Bengaluru. This was in response to a petition filed by The Forward Foundation, Bangalore, Praja RAAG, Bangalore and Bangalore Environment Trust.
The stay order issued on April 16, 2014, states that “the Tribunal is satisfied that there is a substantial question connected to and concerned with environment which has got to be enquired into.”
It observes that “the construction activities are carried on in an extent of 13,50,455 m2 in an area of 80 acres in between two lakes and if permitted, the rapid encroachment being made would cause, no doubt, damage to the water course situated in between the two lakes impeding flow of rain water into Bellandur lake, the largest freshwater body in Bangalore and hence, an immediate intervention by the Tribunal by granting an order of stay of the construction activities becomes necessary.” The Tribunal has stayed further construction activities by the Mantri Techzone Private Limited and Core Mind Software and services Pvt Limited, until further orders.
The petition had questioned the project on the grounds of environmental impact by the project.
HC decides to observe NGT proceedings
In a hearing that took place on April 25, 2014, the counsel for one of the respondents brought to the notice of the High Court that a stay has been ordered by the National Green Tribunal. However, the petitioner in Bellandur-Agara mega project, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, clarified the High Court that the petitioners for National Green Tribunal were different from the petitioners in the High Court.
Following this, the High Court decided to wait and watch the NGT proceedings. As the next Tribunal hearing has been scheduled on July 15th, 2014, the HC bench decided to list the case on July 18, 2014.
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The shocking aspect here is that one of the project proponents appears to be recklessly proceeding with work inspite of the NGT weighing in. I hear that one of the petitioners in the NGT matter was forced to file a police complaint before the ACP Madivala against one of the project promoters. Shameful behaviour !