SC turns down Karnataka's plea against NGT order on Bengaluru lakes

New Delhi [India], Nov 22 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday declined the plea of Karnataka government against December 6, 2018 order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) which had directed it to deposit Rs 500 crore in an escrow account for failure to check pollution and encroachment in three lakes--Bellandur, Agara and Varthur in Bengaluru.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde has refused to interfere with the NGT order to the Karnataka government to deposit Rs 500 crore in an escrow account and submit Rs 100 crore performance bank guarantee and dismissed the state's plea.

Challenging the NGT order, the Karnataka government contended before the top court that it had to make a separate budgetary allocation to deposit the amount ordered by the tribunal.

"The amount which the NGT has directed to be deposited was neither a fine nor a penalty. The top court previously had relaxed similar directions to the Meghalaya government to deposit Rs 100 crore in a separate case," said advocate Devadatt Kamat, appearing for the Karnataka government.

Last year, the NGT, while taking note of the state government's negligence in protecting the lakes of Bengaluru, had slammed the government and ordered to deposit the amount.

The NGT's order had come on a plea filed by Rajya Sabha MP D Kupendra Reddy, which had also directed the Karnataka government to pay Rs 50 crore to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the restoration of the environment and the Bhruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) to deposit Rs 25 crore. (ANI)