BENGALURU: November 2014 The National Green Tribunal (NGT) began hearing a plea against two mega construction projects that threatened the ecologically-sensitive wetlands of Agara and Bellandur lakes in Bengaluru.
NAYTHE4PASSEDA landmark ruling on a buffer zone for water bodies and storm water drains, asking the two projects in question to revise their plan.
Nine months later, the two projects are yet to comply .
As a result of non-compliance, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has revoked environmental clearance to Mantri Techzone and Coremind Software and Services. The decision was taken February 23 and the revocation means a dead end for these projects.
Mantri Techzone, a subsidiary of Mantri Developers, is constructing a residential, retail, hotel and office space at a cost of `CROREWHEREAS C o re m i n d , a s u b s i d i a r y o f Salarpuria Sattva Group, is building Sattva Domain, a software technology park costing `CRORE The NGT has barred construction within 75m from the periphery of water bodies, 50m from the edge of primary rajakaluves, 35m from secondary rajakaluves and 25m from tertiary rajakaluves. It also imposed a fine of `117.35 crore on Mantri and `13.5 crore on Coremind, which was stayed by the Supreme Court.
Mantri’s revised project plan “has no specific details with regard to ensuring compliance,“ the SEIAA found. Also, according to SEIAA, 3.10 acres of encroached lake land had been deleted from the revised plan “which amounts to misrepresenta tion of facts.“ Mantri, apparently , also did not provide details of dredging operations required to restore the wetlands to their original capacity and greenbelt area to be maintained had not been indicated. Mantri did not respond to ET’s request for comment. Coremind informed SEIAA that it was in the process of revising the plan and requested an amended environmental clearance with an assurance that the NGT order will be complied with. However, in the absence of a revised plan, the SEIAA concluded that the sustainability of the project is unknown. Salarpuria Sattva Group said it will not be able to comment.
The SEIAA has also ordered inspection of both projects to check for deviations from the environmental clearance previously granted. “The NGT order focused on wetlands whereas our inspection will look at building configuration. We suspect the projects have deviated from what was approved under the original environmental clearance,“ SEIAA secretary Ramachandra said.