BUFFER ZONE-GOVT DIRECTIONS-A NEWS REPORT
With the implementation of the National Green Tribunal’s landmark judgement against the Mantri Techzone Private Limited and Coremind Software and Services Private Limited to follow the 75-metre buffer zone for lakes and wetlands, the government has cracked the whip on builders. The government has asked two civic agencies – Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike and Bangalore Development Authority – to implement the orders with immediate effect.
While the new orders will not affect ongoing projects, BBMP and BDA have been asked to obtain legal opinion on the status of approved projects within 75 metres of waterbodies that are yet to take up construction activity.
Though the government does not have any specific numbers of such projects that come in the 75-metre buffer zone, it has asked engineers from both the departments to conduct a fresh survey and mark boundaries of the buffer zone.
Additional chief secretary Mahendra Jain (urban development department) issued an order on May 17 asking BDA, BBMP and the district administration to coordinate with each other and mark boundaries of all storm water drains (SWD), lakes and rajakaluves. He also directed officials not to issue plans or change of land-use or any kind of developmental activity in buffer zone.
Sri.Mahendra Jain said, “The NGT order has to be implemented strictly in Bengaluru. The order will prospectively affect only projects that will now come up. It will not apply to earlier approved plans or buildings that are already in place.” “As far as buildings that have been built with approved plans within 75 metres of SWDs lakes or rajakaluvas, the ambit order of NGT will not affect them. In cases of plans being approved but the actual projects not yet coming in place, legal opinion needs to be taken. In such cases, BBMP and BDA will examine it legally and take a decision case wise,” he added.
According to NGT orders, buffer zones of rajakaluves, drains and wetlands must be calculated from the edge of the drain, as opposed to the current norm of measuring from the centre of the drain.
The orders will hence, disallow any further construction at least 75 metres from a lake and 50 metres around a primary SWD. Earlier, officials were following a 30-metre buffer zone order, calculated from the centre of the drain.
WHAT BBMP AND BDA NEED TO FOLLOW
» In the case of lakes and wetlands, 75 m, from the periphery of the waterbody will be maintained as a green belt or buffer zone
» 50m from the edge of a primary rajakaluve
» 35m from the edge of a secondary rajakaluve
» 25m from the edge of tertiary rajakaluve