SC upholds order to clear encroachments around Bellandur lake

Clear encroachments around Bellandur lake: SC
A view of toxic foam floating over Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru. Photo: IANS
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New Delhi/Bengaluru: The Supreme Court upheld the National Green Tribunal order to clear encroachments around Bengaluru's largest Bellandur lake, said petitioner and BJP Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday.

"The dismissal of the appeal to quash the Tribunal order of May 4, 2016 means defendants Mantri Tech Zone and Coremind Software Services have to pay Rs 117.5 crore and Rs 13.5 crore respectively, demolish structures and vacate over 3 acres of encroached area in the lake catchment area," said Chandrasekhar in a statement from Delhi.

His Namma Bengaluru Foundation moved the NGT in March 2014 and the top court subsequently to save the lake and its wetlands from rampant encroachments and pollution.

Located in the city's southeast suburb, the lake is spread over 148 square kilometres.

"Mantri Tech Zone, a leading real estate developer, will also have to re-build the storm water drainage, which was diverted to make way for the illegal construction," Chandrasekhar said.

His foundation has been fighting since 2014 for reclaiming the lake's catchment area from vested interests, including land sharks.

"The battle to save the lake was a David versus Goliath legal fight in the green bench and the apex court against builders supported by the state government. By upholding the Tribunal order, the top court cracked the builder-politico nexus that was looting Bengaluru and the lake," he alleged.

Accusing the state government of having nexus with contractors and builders exploiting the city, Chandrasekhar claimed the desperate attempts to get the Tribunal order quashed by the top court exposes the JD-S-Congress coalition government's support to the realtors.

The defendants, however, did not respond to queries on the apex court order against them.

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