BDA’s mega housing projects hit by green block

BENGALURU: Karnataka’s Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has put on hold environmental clearance for a mega housing project of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) on the outskirts of the city, which is apparently coming up on a no-construction zone. The BDA has proposed construction of 1,068 units of 2-BHK flats in a phased manner at Kanminike village in Bengaluru South taluk with a total built-up area of more than 1.05 lakh sq. m.

City-based Hombale Constructions and K Gowda & Co. have been contracted to build the project.

When the agency sought an environmental clearance, which is mandatory for any construction project with a built-up area above 20,000 sq. m, the SEIAA found “a network of nalas (canals)” in survey number 95 where the flats are slated to come up. This amounts to a buffer zone where no construction activity can be permitted according to a recent National Green Tribunal (NGT) order. “Buffer all along the nala is to be maintained as `no construction’ zone as per orders of the NGT,” the SEIAA said.

In its May 4 ruling, the NGT barred construction within 75 m from the periphery of water bodies, 50 m from the edge of primary rajakaluves, 35 m from secondary rajakaluves and 25 m from tertiary rajakaluves.

SEIAA has now asked the BDA to submit the original map of the Kanminike village with the project site marked along with details of lakes, rajakaluves, canals and other such water bodies in the vicinity. ET independently accessed a 1930 revenue map of the Kanminike village, which shows a widespread network of water canals in survey number 95.

“The BDA said there are no canals but some kind of zigzag lines on the land. It requires field verification.We cannot grant environmental clearance till we receive a proper reply from the BDA,” SEIAA member secretary Ramachandra told ET.

This comes as a setback for the BDA as two-thirds of its income comes from the sale of flats and sites. Earlier, the agency notified allotment of 587 2-BHK flats at Kanminike, for which it received only 28 applications. “It was originally a gomala land occupied by farmers who dug up canals for their purpose. They aren’t rajakaluves. We are processing the information to be submitted to the SEIAA,” a BDA executive engineer from the housing projects division said requesting anonymity .

Another housing project comprising 536 2-BHK flats in Kommaghatta village was issued environmental clearance on the condition that the BDA provides a 25 m buffer from a nala that was found to be running through the project site. Last year, the BDA revealed that 3,500 sites in various layouts it developed were on tank beds.

Credits ET Realty

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