Tuesday, March 23, 2010

HC turfs out BTC, govt’s commercial complex plan

HC turfs out BTC, govt’s commercial complex plan

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 23 Mar 2010 04:42:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 23 Mar 2010 07:47:02 AM IST
BANGALORE: In a major blow to the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC), the High Court on Monday directed it to vacate its premises in six months and observed that the club had no right to seek alternative land from the state government for its activities.
While dismissing two separate petitions filed by BTC and the BTC staff association, a division bench comprising justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B S Patil, directed the state government to develop the entire race course area of 92 acres into a theme park consisting of a variety of trees and flowering plants.
The theme park should compensate for the loss of tress in the city in the drive of widen roads. The theme park should also be a model for protection, preservation and promotion of environment and lung space in the city, the court directed.
“We are hardly able to find any trees in the place which earlier appeared like a real garden city. Hence, the state has to take steps to protect the environment by preserving the present race course as a lung space,” the court observed.
While granting six months’ time to the BTC to vacate the premises, the court directed it to pay Rs 5 lakh a month from the date of expiry of the lease period till the date of handing over the property to the state.
BTC shall hand over the premises to the state on or before September 22, 2010. The state shall not carry on any construction activities or other activities which are prejudicial to the interest of maintaining of ecology and environment in the area, the court directed.
Meanwhile, the court allowed a public interest litigation challenging the government order on July 27, 2009 handing over of 95 acres of land in Amanikere in Doddajala to BTC. While quashing the government order, the division bench also directed the state government to take all steps to protect the lake by removing silt.

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