SC reserves order on plea challenging NGT order quashing EC for Godrej apartments in Bengaluru.

The Supreme Court has reserved its verdict on a plea challenging an NGT order quashing the environmental clearance granted to a high-rise luxury project by Godrej Properties Limited and Wonder Projects Development Private Limited in Bengaluru.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian reserved its order after hearing arguments from all parties.

The apex court had earlier issued notices to the Centre, the Karnataka government and others on an appeal filed by Wonder Projects Development Pvt. Ltd. and others.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, representing the project proponent, had argued that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had reproduced its order from another case and stopped the project despite requisite consents.

The green panel had ruled that the construction would fall within the buffer zone of the Kaikondrahalli lake and therefore is violative of the zoning laws.

The NGT had said no environmental clearance (EC) can be granted for a construction that would violate the buffer zone of a lake.

“It is clear that the project stipulates construction in the buffer zone, which is in violation of the zoning plan and a judgement of this tribunal as affirmed by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, the EC is quashed,” it had said.

The order came on a petition filed by Bengaluru resident H P Rajanna against the project, Godrej Reflections, being built at Kasavanahalli village in Varthur Hobli in Bengaluru Urban district.

Rajanna challenged a State Environment Impact Assessment Authority order dated January 10, 2018, granting an EC to the project at survey nos. 61/2, 62 and 63/2, Kasavanahalli village, Varthur Hobli, Bengaluru East Taluk and Bengaluru district.

The petition had stated that the construction lies in the buffer zone of the Kaikondrahalli lake, apart from one primary and two secondary ‘rajkulewas’ (storm-water drains).

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