BENGALURU: If the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on lake buffer zones and drains is imposed, all 19 lakh properties in the city will have to be demolished. This stunning revelation was made by the local civic body on Tuesday.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), in its submission to the apex court on the existing properties in connection with the green panel’s order on the buffer zone for lakes and drains, has raised concerns that if the Supreme Court (SC) upholds the NGT’s order, it may result in demolition of all properties in the city.
BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said, “In the BBMP area, there are 256 projects for which plans were sanctioned, and commencement certificates issued prior to the NGT order dated May 4, 2016. Occupancy Certificates have not been issued, though the buildings are complete, on account of retrospective operation of the NGT order, since these projects fall within the increased buffer zone of lakes specified in the order. The number of flats/units in these projects aggregates to 35,054.”
The BBMP also claimed that there are 31,500 buildings located within the increased buffer zone of tanks/lakes.
“Totally, there are approximately 19.40 lakh buildings in the BBMP area. All the buildings have tertiary storm water drains in front,” the BBMP’s submission to the state government on the challenge petition filed by the state government read.
An advocate associated with BBMP, who did not wish to be identified, said, “The BBMP has submitted its stand on the nature of properties built in the city in terms of buffer zone. All these properties had been approved by BBMP on the grounds of previous rules, and now we are not able to issue the OC due to increased buffer zone rules. Where will these people go? Many have purchased houses on loans or some other source of finance. It will be an injustice to them. Although there is no order by NGT to demolish the properties built within the increased buffer zone area, we will have to demolish a few in light of violation of rules. Then we will have to demolish all properties in the city,” he said.
“The civic body is not against the national green panel, but the problem is that we were not made respondents in the case. Otherwise, BBMP would have submitted supporting documents in the matter,” he added.
In view of the NGT order, the Town Planning department’s new order says that no construction can take place within a distance of 50 metres, 35 metres and 25 metres from primary, secondary and tertiary drains, respectively, from the edge of the drains.
So BBMP believes that OCs and Commencement Certificates cannot be issued for some of the buildings or flats built within the buffer zone, although they had got approvals before May 4, 2016.
The NGT set the guidelines of lake buffer zone that no construction shall take place till 75 metres from the lake’s boundary.
The BBMP in its stand on the tertiary drain has submitted that, “The total number of primary and secondary storm water drains in the BBMP area is aggregated to 856.76 kms. And the buffer zone which is required to be kept in respect of these storm water drains is 21,400 acres.
In addition, the increased buffer zone pertaining to lakes as a result of the NGT order aggregates to 11,000 acres,” the civil appeal prepared by BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad read.
TNIE had published an article on December 22, 2018, about housing projects in the city being denied OCs due to the NGT order.