NGT Order On Lake Buffer Zone Causes Ripples: Fettered BBMP Says All 19 Lakh Buildings Violate Rules, Must Be Razed

Swarajya StaffWednesday, January 23, 2019 1:39 pm IST
A building in Bengaluru (Representative image only, by Gireesh Gv/The India Today Group/Getty Images)
A building in Bengaluru (Representative image only, by Gireesh Gv/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Bengaluru’s municipal body, BBMP, stated on Tuesday (22 January) that all the 19 lakh buildings in the city would need to be demolished if the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order on lake buffer zones and drains, reports The New Indian Express (TNIE).

In 2016, the NGT issued guidelines that barred construction activity within 75 metres of a lake’s boundary and near tertiary stormwater drains.

“The BBMP has submitted its stand on the nature of properties built in the city with respect to the buffer zone. All these properties had been approved by BBMP on the grounds of previous rules, and now we are not able to issue the OC (occupancy certificate) due to increased buffer zone rules,” said an advocate associated with BBMP.

“Where will these people go? Many have purchased houses on loans or some other source of finance. It will be an injustice to them. Although there is no order by NGT to demolish properties built within the increased buffer zone area, we will have to demolish a few in light of the violation of rules. In that case, we will have to demolish all properties in the city,” he added.

Not Feasible

According to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, primary and secondary stormwater drains in Bengalluru’s civic area run for an aggregated 856.76 km. The civic body would need 21,400 acres to be set aside as buffer zone to comply with the NGT order. An additional 11,000 acres is required as buffer zone near lakes, he added.

Also Read: ‘Environmental Emergency’: NGT Calls Bengaluru Lakes ‘Septic Tanks’, Slaps Rs 50 Crore Fine On Karnataka Government

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