HC notice on power plant near Puttenahalli lake

Petitioner contends that the water body is a bird refuge

Updated - July 11, 2018 07:44 am IST

Published - July 10, 2018 08:11 pm IST

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notices to the Centre and State government on a PIL petition questioning allowing the setting up of a ‘gas-based combined cycle power plant’ within 500 metres of Puttenahalli lake near Yelahanka.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna S. Dixit passed the order on a petition filed by the Yelahanka-Puttenahalli Lake and Bird Conservation Trust, Bengaluru.

The petitioner has contended that Puttenahalli lake is a bird refuge. The Department of Forests, Environment and Ecology of the State had on April 29, 2015 declared Puttenahalli lake as a ‘bird conservation reserve’ under Section 36-A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, recognising that the water body hosts 127 species of birds and is of ecological, floral, and geomorphological importance.

"The establishment of a gas-based combined cycle power plant in such close vicinity would pose extreme danger to the fragile ecosystem, which is one of Bengaluru's last recourse for birds today," the petitioner argued while claiming that the plant, being put up between Puttenahalli and Yelahanka lakes, would result in destruction of not only the lakes but also the entire system of rajakaluves (stormwater drains) connecting the two lakes.

The petitioner has also contended that the Karnataka State Environment Impact Assessment Authority did not have the power to grant sanction for a project of such a category.

The petitioner complained that the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has not responded to representations by the petitioner pointing out the illegality in allowing the plant to be constructed by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited.

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