Court quashes a portion of land acquired for Somapura industrial layout

The Karnataka High Court on Friday found that the State government had permitted an industrial layout in the catchment area of Tippagondanahalli (T.G. Halli) reservoir, a drinking water source to Bangalore, despite the area being declared “ecologically sensitive” by the government itself.

This came to the court’s notice in petitions, filed by some owners of agricultural land in the catchment area, challenging acquisition of their land for the Somapura industrial area by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB).

Drinking water source

Observing that “one cannot comprehend that an industrial area and a catchment area for drinking water can coexist by mere regulation,” Justice A.S. Bopanna on Friday quashed the notifications acquiring 6 acres of agricultural land at Chandanahosahalli village of Somapura hobli of Nelamangala taluk near Bangalore.

The court wondered what was so pressing about the layout in such a vulnerable area and why it could not be formed somewhere outside the catchment area.

Presentation

Besides, the court pointed out, a presentation made by Karnataka to the Ministry of Environment seeking clearance depicts that the area is not in ecologically sensitive zone though the entire area has been treated as ecologically sensitive by the government!

The court also found from the record that the government did not consider the impact of the industrial layout before acquiring the land despite Supreme Court guidelines.

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