New Delhi, Mar 5 The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the National Green Tribunal's order enlarging the buffer zone limits around lakes and water bodies in Bengaluru.
An apex court bench allowed the appeals filed by the Karnataka government and others seeking direction for maintaining a buffer zone and green belt of 75 metre in case of lakes, 50 metre for primary, 35 metre for secondary and 25 metre for tertiary 'Rajkulewas'.
The state government was aggrieved with the directions of the NGT, saying these were against the revised master plan of Bengaluru 2015, which had got a statutory character.
The state had said the directions were against the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Act, Planning Act, Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, adding that the buffer zone was already fixed as 30 metre.
However, the apex court said that "a central legislation enacted under Entry 13 of List I Schedule VII of the Constitution will have the overriding effect over state legislations.
"The corollary is that the tribunal while providing for restoration of environment in an area, can specify buffer zones around specific lakes and water bodies in contradiction with zoning regulations under these statutes or the RMP (revised master plan)."
The top court, however, dismissed the appeals filed by Mantri Techzone Pvt Ltd and Core Mind Software and Services Pvt Ltd against the findings of encroachment of water bodies in Bengaluru.
"It is also clear from the materials on record that there is a definite possibility of environment, ecology, lakes, and wetland being adversely affected by these projects,” it said.
It said that NGT's findings that the projects for – setting up of Software Technology park, commercial and residential complex, hotel and multi level car parks in the protected zone in between the Bellandur Lake and the Agara lake -- would cause serious damage to environment, were right. UK RKS RT