BANGALORE: The High Court on Monday directed the Maruthi Power (Gen) Private Limited (MPPL) to maintain status quo on the construction of a mini-hydel power project at Kagneri and Kenchankumari Reserved Forests in Sakleshpur taluk.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna directed Deputy Conservator of Forests Baskar and MPPL to maintains status quo and adjourned further hearing on the case till February 27.
The petitioners, Prashanth Yavagal and members of the Western Ghat Environment Forum, stated that the MPPL had first taken permission from the state government to build a 4 MW and 5 MW mini hydel plants in Kagneri and Kenchankumari over five hectares, as clearance from the Centre was required if they needed more land. They added that the capacities of the plants was increased to 24 MW.
They added that the MPPL had submitted a false submission to court in October that they be allowed to continue with the work as they had made huge investments and had completed 70 per cent of their work; an on-the-spot investigation revealed that only 20 per cent of the work was completed, they asserted.
Eight spots in the state have been marked as eco-sensitive areas; the site for the hydel plant is one among them.