Bengaluru

Don’t allow development activities within 10-km radius of BNP till ESZ is finalised: HC

However, the interim order is prospective, and it would not affect the commercial and developmental activities that have already been undertaken within a 10-kilometre radius of BNP.

However, the interim order is prospective, and it would not affect the commercial and developmental activities that have already been undertaken within a 10-kilometre radius of BNP.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

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The direction was given to both the State and Central governments

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the State and Central governments to ensure that no further commercial or developmental activities are undertaken within a 10 kilometre radius of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) till finalisation of the draft notification to declare an eco sensitive zone (ESZ) around the park.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hamant Chandangoudar passed the interim order on a PIL petition filed by Banneghatta Nature Conservation Trust, Bengaluru.

However, the bench made it clear that the interim order is prospective, and it would not affect the commercial and developmental activities that were already undertaken within a 10-kilometre radius of BNP.

It has been pointed out in the petition that a draft notification was issued to declare an area of 268.96 sq. km., ranging from 100 metres to 4.5 km from the boundary of BNP, as ESZ by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change on the advise of the State government.

However, this draft was allowed to lapse though no objection or suggestion was received, the petitioner said while pointing out that the State government in 2016 decided to reduce the area of the proposed ESZ, and accordingly the Centre on October 30, 2018 issued a fresh draft notification to declare 168.84 sq. km., ranging from 100 metres to 1 km around the boundary of BNP as ESZ.

The petitioner has also pointed out that the Ministry had on August 20, 2019 written a letter to the State government to declare 268.96 sq. km. as ESZ as proposed in the 2016 draft notification.

It has been contended that reducing the area proposed for ESZ would seriously affect the ecology as many ecologically sensitive areas were left out in the 2018 notification. The petitioner has also claimed that several commercial activities, like bottling plants for drinking water, residential layouts and governments housing schemes, were subsequently allowed in the area that was proposed as ESZ as per the 2016 draft notification.

The petitioner has sought a direction the State and the Centre to finalise the ESZ around BNP as per the 2016 draft notification, and prohibit commercial and other developmental activities within a 10-km radius of BNP till finalisation of ESZ.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 4:42:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/dont-allow-development-activities-within-10-km-radius-of-bnp-till-esz-is-finalised-hc/article30577948.ece

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