CHENNAI: The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday extended the interim injunction against the construction of the controversial six -lane steel flyover in Bengaluru till January 18. However, it allowed the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) to carry out preliminary works like soil testing and surveying for the project.
A bench comprising Justice MS Nambiar and expert member PS Rao was hearing an application by BDA to vacate the stay.
Both BDA and Karnataka Urban Development Department filed their counter-affidavits in which they termed the proposed steel flyover ‘local road’ falling within municipal limits of Bengaluru city, which meant the project need not obtain clearance from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). The Citizen Action Forum had challenged the project.
The tribunal refused to modify the interim order, but clarified there was no restriction on BDA to execute preliminary works without doing any construction or felling of trees.
In the affidavit, A Ramesh, assistant executive engineer of BDA, argued that the six-lane elevated road from Basaveshwara Circle to Hebbal flyover via Le-Meridian Hotel and Mekhri Circle in Bengaluru, covers a distance of 12.52 kms and proposed on an existing road connecting two local points in the city. Such a structure will qualify as a ‘local road’, while one end meets the bypass of the State Highway.
The official, quoting December 22, 2015 correspondence with SEIAA Member-Secretary Ramachandra, said there was no necessity to obtain preliminary discharge certificate under the EIA Notification, 2006, if the elevated road project did not come under the limit of ‘Highway’.