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Pearl Narang

Pearl Narang is a final year law student of B.B.A.LL.B (Hons.) at Chandigarh University, Mohali and is currently interning as a Trainee in Business World Legal Community. She is also pursuing a diploma in Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. She is passionate about both law and writing.

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Students of NLUD, Jindal Move Karnataka HC Challenging Decision to Conduct EIA Public Consultation Virtually via Zoom

Initially, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) proposed to conduct the public hearing for the Eight Lane Peripheral Ring Road project on August 18.

Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is developing a 65-kilometre-long road. The project has been undertaken to solve the problem of traffic congestion in Bangalore City. This peripheral ring road will also help to enhance intercity connectivity along with reducing the level of pollution.

PIL filed in Karnataka High Court

The BDA proposed to conduct the public hearing with respect to the Eight Lane Peripheral Ring Road project on August 18, amid COVID-19. This decision was not accepted by the public. However, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) issued a notification on August 30, 2020. The notification informed that the BDA proposed to continue the said environmental public hearing by conducting a webinar on September 23 via the Zoom Platform.

Therefore, a petition was filed by the students of the National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) and Jindal Law School. 

Holding virtual public consultation would lead to failure of public consultation process

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Karnataka High Court mentions that the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) of Bangalore is a ring road that runs around most of the perimeter of the city, which is outside of the Outer Ring Road of Bangalore.

The plea strongly argues that holding public consultation process only virtually would restrict multiple vulnerable communities, from effectively raising their concerns about the project. This, in turn, would lead to an abject failure of the ‘public consultation’ process, the petitioners assert.

"The Impugned Notification (issued by KSPCB) by way of mandating a virtual public consultation hearing ignores the social matrix of the people. This notification affects and violates the constitutional rights of the multiple minority communities affected by the project and the people of the State of Karnataka", reads the PIL.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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