the controversial Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project has got a fresh lease of life. The October 6 order of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (kspcb) withdrawing the consent for the establishment of the project has been dismissed. On December 15, the environment appellate authority of Karnataka upheld the project promoter's claim that it has neither encroached on tanks/ponds nor changed alignment of the roads. "The December 15 order has vindicated our stand that we have followed the sanctioned plan verbatim and not violated any consent conditions," says Manjunath Naikar, public relations officer, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd.
When the project was put on hold, the board stated that Nandi Infrastructure had deviated from its original alignment plan for developing the 41-km outer ring road, a part of the project (see 'Waylaid', Down To Earth, November 15, 2006). To challenge the board's October 6 order, the company initially approached the appellate authority in mid-November, but their plea could not be heard since two members of the authority had quit. Nandi Infrastructure then petitioned the Karnataka High Court seeking relief. But, soon, with two new members appointed, the case went back to the appellate authority. Finally on December 15, the authority ruled in favour of the company.
"We have evidence contradicting the board's assertion. Just 20 days before withdrawing consent, six pollution board officials inspected the road alignment and found nothing wrong with it. We also have evidence showing our corridor project is almost one kilometre away from the so-called encroached lakes and tanks," says Naikar.
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