Karnataka HC allows college building in zone-3 near reservoir

A college building which was allegedly constructed on a prohibited area near the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir has been given a clean chit by the High Court. The college is constructed by an educational society of which Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara is the Joint Secretary.

N Rajanna, a resident of Narasipalya in Nelamangala taluk, had filed a public interest litigation against various government authorities including BDA, BWSSB, BMRDA, KSPCB and also the Sri Siddartha Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre alleging that the construction was illegal. It was claimed that the building was coming up at the Thippagondanahalli village in a restricted area.

The Thippagondanahalli Reservoir used to supply drinking water to Bengaluru till 2012. Back in 2002, the KSPCB had recommended that construction activities around it be restricted so that the quality and quantity of water flowing into the reservoir is maintained.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conducted an inspection and identified certain areas and recommended the constitution of a separate authority for conservation of the catchment area of the reservoir. KSPCB amended zonal regulations as per ISRO’s recommendations. As per the new regulations, in areas coming under Zone-1, there was no prohibition on construction. In Zone-2, only two-storied buildings could be constructed, and in Zone-3, no construction activity could take place. The PIL by Rajanna alleged that the college building was coming up in Zone-3.

The HC directed SG Pandit, the advocate representing the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the Nelamangala Planning Authority “to find out whether constructions are coming up in Zone-3 or not.” The report by SG Pandit showed that the constructions were “coming up either in Zone-1 or in Zone-4 and, certainly, not in Zone-3.”

Dismissing the PIL, the court said the very basis of the petition was erroneous. “However, it is expected that the authorities will not permit any construction even in Zone-1 and Zone-4 in violation of the conditions imposed for making constructions in those zones,” the court clarified.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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