The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has quashed the environmental clearance (EC) granted to a high-rise residential project being built by Godrej Properties in Bengaluru, for raising construction in the buffer zone of a lake. A bench of NGT chairperson justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and justice SP Wangdi said no environmental clearance could have been granted, which permitted construction in the buffer zone of Kaikondrahalli lake and drains, merely by imposing a condition that no such construction will be raised.
“Stand of the project proponent that the project is permissible cannot be accepted. It is clear that the project stipulates construction in the buffer zone, in violation of zoning plan and judgment of this tribunal as affirmed by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed and the EC is quashed,” the bench said. The tribunal directed the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) – Karnataka, state pollution control board, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and Bengaluru Development Authority to take further action, in accordance with the law.
The NGT was hearing a plea by Bengaluru resident HP Rajanna against the construction of Godrej Reflections at Kasavanahalli village in Varthur Hobli of Bengaluru Urban district, by Godrej Properties Ltd and Wonder Projects Development Pvt Ltd. Rajanna had challenged the order dated January 10, 2018, of SEIAA granting EC for construction of the project at survey nos. 61/2, 62 and 63/2, Kasavanahalli village, Varthur Hobli, Bengaluru East Taluk, Bengaluru district by Wonder Projects Developments Pvt Ltd.
According to the plea filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, the construction was in the buffer zone of Kaikondrahalli lake, apart from one primary and two secondary ‘rajkulewas’ (storm-water drains). “The area is eco-fragile and environmental load by the project would be much more than the carrying capacity of the area. The project proponent deliberately concealed relevant data. The project is in a no development zone, being buffer zone of the lake,” the plea said.