SC admits Karnataka’s plea challenging NGT order on buffer zones


New Delhi/Bengaluru: Months after the National Green Tribunal had increased the no-build buffer zone around lakes in Bengaluru from 30 to 75 meters, the state government on Monday joined the builders’ groups and challenged the order before the Supreme Court.

The Apex Court admitted Karnataka’s plea for consideration. The bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also issued a notice to NGO ’Forward Foundation’ and others on whose plea the NGT had passed the order.

Karnataka claimed that the NGT had not taken into account buffer zones prescribed in the development control regulations for Mumbai (15 m), Ahmedabad (30m from the riverbank), and Hyderabad (varying with the lake size). Further, the government also said that the NGT had ignored the doctrine of ‘separation of powers’ which mandated that a statutory tribunal could not pass judicial orders which directly encroached powers of any other statutory authority on amending buffer zones under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961.

The petitioners had opined that the order would result in very expensive land going waste and property prices rising, thus making small land owners and buyers suffer.

It is said that 19 plans, involving 49 acres were sanctioned before the NGT order was passed for which completion certificates were yet to be granted.


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