BENGALURU: Months after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) levied an exorbitant Rs 140 crore fine on builders Mantri Techzone and Coremind Software for encroaching upon the catchment area of Bellandur Lake, nearly 800 residents of Bellandur, HSR Layout and Koramangala staged a protest near Agara Lake on Sunday. During the protest, organized by South East Bangalore Forum for Sustainable Development, the members urged the Ministry of Environment and Forests to cancel the clearances accorded to the project promoters. The protesters also wanted the government to cancel the environmental clearances given to the builders.
It can be recalled that the residents of Bellandur, HSR Layout and Koramangala waged a war against the builders for constructing software firms on the catchment area of Bellandur Lake, which is also the largest lake in the city. The residents also alleged that the water requirement for the project exceeded the water supplied by BWSSB for entire Koramangala, HSR Layout and Bellandur areas. Apart from highlighting that the ground water was depleting owing to destruction of the wetland of Bellandur, the residents had also contended that the infrastructure of the area was inadequate to support this kind of massive projects.
Nitin Seshadri, president of Koramangala Residents’ Welfare Association, said, “The IISc Centre for Environmental Studies has recommended the cancellation of the project. We want to request the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) repossess the allotted land, and allot an alternative land parcel on undeveloped area on the outskirts of Bengaluru to the developers in lieu of present site. Also, we want to ask the government agencies to contest the legal cases vigorously and fight for environmental protections instead of coming down on the side of the building lobby.”
Meanwhile, Upa Lokayukta S.B Majjige inaugurated the Allalasandra Kere Habba at Allalasandra Lake on Sunday. During the occasion, he said that if Bengalureans don’t conserve the few existing lakes in the city, we will only have to see lakes in photographs. He said that the highly contaminated lake was now in better condition, thanks to the efforts of residents and government bodies....