BENGALURU: The High Court on Monday directed the state government to consider a representation seeking a ban on eucalyptus plantations after conducting a study and, if necessary, to come to a conclusion to remove the trees if they are responsible for depletion of ground water.
The division bench of acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna issued this direction while disposing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Ganga Seva Mission, a private trust.
The trust maintained that ground water in Kolar and Chikballapur districts was being depleted due to eucalyptus trees. Despite this, in 2011, the state government issued a circular allowing plantations on certain lands.
The trust also placed the study conducted by Mukund Joshi, Associate Professor of Agronomy, UAS-Bengaluru and K Palanisami of International Water Management Institute, Hyderabad, in support of its claim.
The report highlighted the drying of bore wells due to depletion of ground water in Kolar. It also stated that the water yield from a borewell is drastically reduced up to 42 per cent if an eucalyptus plantation is within one kilometre.
Saying that eucalyptus plantations around the Nandi Hills area are largely responsible for cessation of water flow into Arkavathi and Pinakini rivers, the petitioner’s advocate informed the court that these trees suck water from a depth of 20-30 ft under stress conditions, besides they take up to 90 litres of water a day.
Notice to BBMP
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna on Monday issued a notice to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in response to a PIL. Petitioners Sathya Achayya and others have sought directions for framing a procedure for the systematic monitoring of construction of buildings to check violation of norms.
The petitioners alleged that the authorities have not taken any steps despite the building mafia indulging in formation of illegal layouts and selling sites to gullible public. The procedure to be formed should have steps for a periodic inspection of every construction site after the building plan is sanctioned, they stated.
Proceedings Against Moily Quashed
The High Court on Monday quashed criminal proceedings against Chikballapur MP M Veerappa Moily, who was booked for allegedly violating the model code of conduct during last parliamentary election held in April 2014.
Allowing the petition filed by Moily, Justice A N Venugopala Gowda quashed the proceedings initiated by a lower court against the former minister.
The proceedings were based on a police report and not on a criminal complaint, said Justice Gowda.
The police registered a case against Moily on April 12, 2014, for allegedly violating the conditions imposed by the returning officer for campaign.
Moily was accused of campaigning exceeding the time limit, having more than 300 supporters with him while campaigning as well as using children during canvassing, under section 188 of the IPC.
Give Rs 3L to Blast Victim, HC Tells centre
Bengaluru: The High Court on Monday directed the Union government to give Rs 3 lakh interim compensation to a bomb blast victim. N S Leesha (20) was injured in the 2013 blast at the BJP’s headquarters in Malleshwaram. The HC also said that the compensation should be paid within three weeks.
The direction issued by Justice A S Bopanna came after Additional Solicitor General Prabhuling K Navadgi said that Rs 3 lakh is the maximum compensation that can be given to a victim under the central scheme for assistance to civilian victims of terrorist, communal, naxal violence.
Advocate H Sunil Kumar argued in favour of Leesha who had sought Rs 1-crore compensation.
Leesha has undergone seven surgeries on one leg. Till date, Leesha has been given Rs 8.24 lakh as compensation. She sought Rs 10 lakh as interim compensation for a limb salvage operation and multiple operations to her injured leg.