The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) not to permit any new construction projects in and around Bellandur lake if the projects did not adhere to the norms laid down by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) in its 2007 circular.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath passed the interim order while hearing on a PIL petition filed by Kupendra Reddy, which complained about authorities’ laxity in preventing the lake from being polluted.

The Bench issued the directions after the petitioner’s counsel brought to the notice of the court that the KSPCB, had issued a circular on May 11, 2007, making it mandatory for certain types of projects to obtain Consent for Establishment (CFE) by KSPCB before the approval for construction plan was sought from the BBMP, BDA and Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA).

KSPCB consent needed

As per the circular, the KSPCB had said that all residential apartment complexes having over 50 residential units or a built-up area of 5,000 sq.m had to secure CFE before approaching civic agencies for the sanctioning of plans. Similarly, CFE was made mandatory for commercial projects measuring over 2,000 sq.m. built up area. The circular also made setting up of sewerage treatment plants (STP) mandatory for these constructions.

Buffer zones

Meanwhile, the BDA counsel pointed out to the court that a couple of apartment complexes were permitted by maintaining a buffer zone of 30 meters from the edge of the lake prior to the National Green Tribunal’s direction to maintain a standard buffer zone of 75 meters from the edge of lake.

The Bench asked the authorities to file their statements and adjourned the next hearing by three weeks.