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NGT order on Bellandur Lake

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BBMP Joint Commissioner Sarfaraz Khan and UDD Secretary Mahendra Jain, on 20th April submitted an affidavit before the Principal bench of the National Green Tribunal, Delhi, tendering unconditional apology and undertaking to withdraw circular dated 30.03.2017 and UDD letter dated 16.02.2017 with immediate effect.
The circulars had referred to the NGT as a quasi judicial body and directed Government bodies to process clearances of those builders who had already submitted plans for approval.
Tribunal directed that if any such attempt is not brought to its notice, the same shall be subject to contempt proceedings before the Tribunal. The Tribunal also restrained State Government officials from interfering with the NGT judgment in future or from using impertinent language against the Tribunal.
Tribunal noted that the intention behind the BBMP circular and legal opinion approved in the UDD letter dated 16.02.2017 was clearly to frustrate the NGT judgment. Tribunal observed that the language used in the letter and comments given on the Judgment (04.05.2016) are unacceptable. The opinions expressed in the BBMP Circular and UDD letter are completely contrary to the Tribunal’s judgment. In this regard Tribunal observed that “we wish government on its own should take some action to show they have some respect for law.”
Tribunal told the UDD that it should know the law correctly and that the NGT is not a quasi judicial body, and has been described as Civil court in NGT Act.
Further it has a status equivalent to a High Court in that appeals of NGT judgements are only possible to the Supreme Court.
Interim Directions were then passed by the Tribunal for Bellandur Lake:
n All industries in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake were directed to be closed forthwith. No industry would be permitted to operate unless allowed by the Joint Inspection Team(JIT) to be formed for this purpose.
n JIT may seal the industries with help of police and KSPCB.
n No waste – Municipal Solid, Domestic, CMD shall be dumped into the Lake or in buffer zone (prescribed by NGT) around the lakes. If anybody is found polluting/dumping, environmental compensation of Rs. 5 Lakhs per event to be imposed.
n CEO of KLCDA, Commissioner BDA and ACS, UDD shall be personally responsible for implementation of the above directions.
n Committee consisting of senior officials of BDA, KLCDA and UDD not below rank of Addl. Secretary to ensure- one time cleaning of entire Bellandur Lake by carrying out:
a) Desilting
b) Removal of waste – municipal solid, domestic, industrial
c) surface cleaning including removal of chemicals
Within One Month.
Committee may induct any Special Agency for execution of this task without going through the formal tendering process.
n All local authorities have been directed to ensure no untreated sewage enters the Lake.
n State will be entitled to invoke Polluter Pays Principle and direct developers to bear costs for transfer of sewage.
n State of Karnataka to place before the Tribunal within a period of 2 weeks an Action Plan to completely prevent and control pollution in be Bellandur Lake.
The Tribunal stated that further directions will be passed upon submission of the said action plan. The Tribunal has adjourned the matter to 18.05.2017 for the next hearing.

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