18 Sep 2023 4:20 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation questioning a Deputy Commissioner's order reserving 5 acres gomal land in Soraba Taluka, earmarked for village cattle, for establishment of Solid and Liquid Waste Disposal Unit. A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit observed,“It is not that the gomal land can never be diverted...
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation questioning a Deputy Commissioner's order reserving 5 acres gomal land in Soraba Taluka, earmarked for village cattle, for establishment of Solid and Liquid Waste Disposal Unit.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit observed,
“It is not that the gomal land can never be diverted to other larger public purposes like the one put in challenge. There is absolutely no material on record to substantiate the argument that any provision of law is violated by diversion of the Government land for the purpose of waste management which in turn serves the interest of environment and ecology.”
Court said any venture of the kind would inevitably extract some price. However, what one has to see is the quantum of the price qua the enormity of benefit that would accrue by virtue of the project in question.
“The gomal lands are earmarked for the purpose of village cattle in public interest, is true. However, the authorities in their accumulated wisdom having processed the statistical data have taken a decision to earmark 5 acres of land for the establishment of a waste processing unit. The public interest in such establishments again overrides the public interest that prompted them to reserve the land for the purpose of gomal/gairon," it observed.
The petitioners argued that earlier only 2 acres of the land was earmarked for the waste disposal unit. However, subsequently, the impugned order was passed without assessing environmental impact. The extent of 5 acres is too huge and that would affect the cattle of the rural public, it was argued.
The State on the other hand submitted that the earlier 2 acres of land was found to be inadequate and thus, the area was expanded. It was further submitted that establishment of dry and wet waste management unit has enormous public interest that outweighs the arguable public interest in the petition.
The bench agreed with the submission of the government and said, “the population growth is exponential and it causes expansion of the towns and settlements. That in turn would generate more dry and wet waste, humans being what they are. Therefore, in the considered opinion of the authorities, the 2 acres having been found inadequate, now a piece of 5 acres of land is earmarked for the establishment of a waste processing unit.”
Court said it cannot readily assume that every establishment of a project of the kind will have a bad impact on the environment. "These are matters left to the Executive wisdom and a writ court having its own limitations cannot run a race of opinions with the authorities.”
It thus dismissed the PIL.
Appearance: Advocate Deepashree D for Advocate Nagendra Naik for Petitioners.
AGA Niloufer Akbar for Respondents.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 358
Case Title: Veerbhadra Gowda & ANR AND State of Karnataka & Others
Case No: WRIT PETITION NO. 17835 OF 2023
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