The Supreme Court on Friday (Aug.12) confirmed the Karnataka High court order dated 26th May 2022 allowing the Belagavi Smart city Ltd to construct only on 1.76 acres ( 1.12% of total vaccine depot).
The Supreme Court gave liberty to the petitioners to approach the high court by making appropriate application for demarcation of the area in which the construction of the vaccine depot has to be carried out. The court further confirmed the high court order that no trees shall be cut down.
The Karnatake high court earlier on 26th May 2022 had modified its earlier order dated 5th July 2021 wherein the High court had order status quo to be maintained on the construction activities in Vaccine depot.
The Public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rajeev Topannavar, a city-based environmentalist, had petitioned 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.
The PIL was filed 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 smart city has filed application seeking vacating the stay order dated 5th July 2022. The smart city had filed an affidavit claiming that the total area of vaccine depot was 156 acres whereas the total built up area was 7130 sq mtr which is 1.76 acres which amounted to total 1.12 % of the total area of vaccine depot. It further stated that no trees would be cut nor trans located 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 had further stated that smart city would be planting 93000 plants. The Karnataka high court based on the affidavit of the smart city had modified the earlier stay order and allowed smart city to construct only on 1.76 acres of vaccine depot.
The Karnataka high court also directed the Smart city to obtain permission from the concerned authorities of state and central government.
The supreme court also noted that the High Court had duly taken note of the fact that no trees are to be cut down.’
Advocate Kiran Kulkarni said that the petitioners propose to move appropriate application before the Hon’ble High court at the earliest. The smart city is planning to construct Aviation Gallery, Art Gallery, open-air amphitheatre and Villages of India concept in the premises of the Vaccine Depot. It is hard to believe that all these constructions can be carried out within the area mentioned by them, he said. The fight to save vaccine depot will continue , he said.
The petitioners had challenged the modification order dated 26th May 2022 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court by way of SLP. The Supreme Court dismissed the SLP giving liberty to the petitioners to file appropriate application before the Hon’ble High court of Karnataka seeking demarcation of the area in which the smart city proposes to construct in vaccine depot.