Bangalore: The National Green Tribunal on Friday extended the stay granted on the construction of the Steel Flyover in Bengaluru. The NGT ordered that no work can be done on the flyover until December 6. In an hour-long hearing on a petition filed by Bengaluru-based Citizen’s Action Forum, the Karnataka Government represented by Advocate General Madhusudhan Naik submitted a counter petition. The petition claimed that there would be no environmental damages due to the steel flyover.
Madhusudan Naik defended the Rs. 2100 Crore project saying, since it is going to be connected to the National Highway number 7, BDA should also be exempted from filing environmental impact assessment with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). He also argued that the project will not damage environment despite the plan to axe 812 trees to make way for the flyover.
The tribunal stayed the works on the project till December 6 and also directed the petitioners—N Mukunda, member of Citizen Action Forum and V Balasubramanian, retired bureaucrat, to file counter affidavits till the next hearing. The court sought a detailed environment impact assessment to be filed and approved by the state-level green authority during the first hearing on October 28, which the BDA failed to furnish on Friday.
The project has received criticism from citizens who pressed for an elaborate public consultation on the project’s purpose and questioned if other alternatives were considered by the civic agency before coming out with a plan of a 7-km flyover. They also opposed the loss of green cover–812 trees on the Bellary Road that is set to be chopped to make way for the project.
While BDA claims the flyover to be an extension of the National Highway number 7, that starts from Hebbal junction, NHAI-Bengaluru has not only been consulted for the project, the latter has also objected to the proposal as it has equal jurisdiction over Hebbal flyover as BDA.