Thursday, July 30, 2009

‘Make BTC area a green zone’

‘Make BTC area a green zone’
URA, Karnad And 5 Others File PIL

Bangalore: Even as the tussle between Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) and the government over shifting of the race course continues, seven citizens have moved the high court, seeking directions to maintain the place as a green zone.
Jnanpith awardees U R Ananthamurthy and Girish Karnad, environmentalist Suresh Heblikar, litterateur K Marulasiddappa, theatre personality G K Govinda Rao, painter S G Vasudev and journalist Ammu Joseph have filed a PIL seeking to restrain the authorities from entering into a contract or lease for a building on the said premises.
“In Bangalore, air and sound pollution levels are high. The city needs green cover and the BTC area should be converted into a lung space. The 70-odd acres should be declared a green zone and necessary rules should be framed to safeguard Bangalore from environmental degradation,” the petition states.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing this weekend.
The 73.35-acre land on Race Course Road where the Bangalore Turf Club is situated at present is considered an important lung space in the heart of the city. The BTC had requested the state to extend the lease but the state was not inclined. They then sought for alternative land to shift the race course. The government considered this and a site measuring 152.02 acres in Jaala hobli was identified.
The government had sought modification of the August 22, 1995 interim order of the court which asked the authorities not to make any grant of lands pertaining to tank bed areas.
On July 13, the high court had given the government liberty to take appropriate action in the matter of shifting the race course from the heart of the city. A division Bench headed by chief justice P D Dinakaran told the authorities to act ‘strictly in accordance with law’ while dealing with the matter.


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