The Supreme Court on Friday (Aug.12) dismissed the Public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rajeev Topannavar, a city-based environmentalist, asking to stop the development activities of Belagavi Smart City Limited (BSCL) at Vaccine Depot premises claiming that trees are being cut and these projects would harm the green lung space’s ecosystem.
A PIL was filed on 26th June 2021 by Advocate Kiran Kulkarni and Satish Biradar on behalf of Rajeev Toppannavar and other members claiming that trees are being cut in the vaccine depot for the development works.
The High court then granted the interim stay to maintain the status quo in July 2021.
The Karnataka High Court in the month of May 2022 (10 Months after) had vacated the stay order and granted Belagavi Smart City Limited (BSCL) permission to begin construction on 1.3 acres area of the Vaccine Depot. The Court granted permission after an affidavit of maintaining 93,000 plants in the vaccine depot area was submitted.
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Affidavit : The total area of Vaccine Depot is 156 acres and the total built up area proposed at the Vaccine Depot is approximately 7130.70 sq.m., which is 1.76 acres. This amounts to 1.12% area of the entire Vaccine Depot area. It is also submitted that the BSCL have specifically stated that no tree would be cut nor translocated to carry out the proposed construction work. The grass land present within the premises of the Vaccine Depot would not be harmed in any manner.
It is submitted that instead, They have proposed to plant various species of plants. The projects of Block Plantation (herbal garden, navagraha garden, zodiac garden, botanical garden, etc.) are proposed, 93,000 trees are proposed to be planted in this regard which ill include medicated plants and herbs which would enhance the vegetation cover of Vaccine Depot. It is submitted that the cost of the project would escalate in case they are not permitted to carry out the construction work – Mentioned in the affidavit.
Petitioners were unhappy with the high court decision allowing BSCL to carry works and submitted appeal to the Supreme Court. The same was also dismissed by Supreme court on Friday (August 12, 2022) with mention that ‘We find no grounds to interfere with the impugned interim order passed by the High Court. The special leave petition is, accordingly, dismissed.’ ‘The High Court has duly taken note of the fact that no trees are to be cut down.’
BSCL has plans to build Aviation Gallery, Art Gallery, open-air amphitheatre and use the Villages of India concept to show people traditional rural India develop on the premises of the Vaccine Depot.
So now, BSCL can carry these development works in Vaccine depot premises without cutting trees.