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News Entry# 286825
  
Nov 26 2016 (08:20)  Stay on steel flyover extended (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestBMRC/Bangalore Metro  -  

News Entry# 286825     
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Posted by: rdb*^  125013 news posts
Officials debating option of filing a Special Leave Petition in Supreme Court
Chennai/Bengaluru: The legal battle over the controversial steel flyover between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal continues with the southern bench of National Green Tribunal extending the interim stay on the project till the next hearing on December 6.
On Friday, Advocate-General Madhusudhan Naik filed a petition on behalf of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to vacate the stay arguing that the steel flyover was an extension of the National Highway, which exempted it from any environmental clearances.
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the tribunal refused to entertain the request and directed the petitioners — Citizen Action Forum and retired bureaucrat V. Balasubramanian — to file their objections in a week's time.
The petitioners had questioned the project arguing that BDA had planned to proceed with the flyover without holding mandatory public hearings or obtaining necessary environmental clearances.
Senior BDA officials expressed confidence of a legal victory at the NGT. However, sources in the State government said that they are mulling their options on filing a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court, arguing that since the project is exempted from environmental clearances, NGT had no jurisdiction over the project.
Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB), which is against the steel flyover, on Friday said that the State government and BDA have wasted four weeks by not opting for an environment impact assessment and availing due clearances. “If they have confidence in the project and its environment impact, then why not go for an assessment study?” said Srinivas Alavilli, of CfB.
A formal statement by CfB said: “This is sad but not surprising given that the steel flyover project has massive negative environmental impact and the government well knows that they will not be able to obtain clearance through due process.”
The group will use the available time ‘to bolster even stronger evidence against this project and ensure that it is cancelled’.
#LocalTrainBeku
Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) is expanding its scope beyond the flyover project and will fight for better public transport in the city.
CfB will hold its first strategy meet on Saturday to design their next campaign #LocalTrainBeku, demanding a commuter rail service for the city. “Whenever we oppose the steel flyover project, we are asked what alternatives we offer. We are now coming up with a constructive campaign to press for a sustainable alternative mode of public transport,” said Srinivas Alavilli of CfB.
This is expected to give a shot in the arm to the decade-old citizens’ movement for a commuter rail network.
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