Environment Support Group


Some positive outcomes of ESG’s public interest litigation efforts

ESG has spearheaded a variety of Public Interest Litigations advancing environmental and social justice in India with path-breaking outcomes. For instance, the effort to resolve solid waste management crisis in Bangalore, by promoting segregation and management of waste at source and securing occupational rights of solid waste workers is an outcome of ESG’s PIL (WP 46523/2012) in the Karnataka High Court. As a part of this litigation process, governance of Bengaluru was also decentralised with the court directing Ward Committees must be set up.

ESG’s PIL (WP 817/2008) advancing community centred and decentralised protection and comprehensive rehabilitation of lakes found support with the Karnataka High Court which directed Karnataka State to constitute the District Lake Protection Committees to ensure 40,000 lakes and their interconnecting canal systems running into 1000s of kilometres are protected from encroachment, and rehabilitated in ecologically wise and socially useful ways. This litigation also resulted in the creation of the Karnataka Tank Conservation Development Authority by a special law.

ESG’s PIL initiatives in the Karnataka High Court, National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court exposing biopiracy by Monsanto (in the B.t. Brinjal case) is the first such case in India. This has pushed National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards to become functional and stem the loot of bioresources. Besides, it has contributed immensely in conservation of biodiversity in India and associated traditional knowledge.

In another PIL initiative, ESG drew the attention of the National Green Tribunal to the systemic and statutory lack of protection of arid grassland ecosystems, habitat to such critically endangered species as the Great India Bustard, by questioning the legality of diversion of Amrit Mahal Kaval grasslands to a ‘science city’ in Chitradurga district of Karnataka.

ESG has filed a PIL before the National Green Tribunal questioning the need for the Elevated Corridor in Bangalore.

CampaignsEventsPublic ConsultationsSWM PILsUrban GovernanceWaste Management

Comments on SWM Interventions/Policies and for a Consultation on 9th April 2022 in response to directive from Karnataka High Court

Environment Support Group has been involved in initiating resilient and sustainable structural reforms in waste management through field, policy and legal interventions for over two decades now.  Our work, primarily based out of Bangalore metropolitan area (14 million) and Karnataka State, is in coordination with similar efforts nationwide. We work closely with trade unions advancing labour, occupational and health rights of those handling waste, and we also work with vulnerable communities suffering serious contamination due to waste disposal, to ensure their Rights to Health, Clean Environment, Life and Livelihoods is upheld.

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Lake PILsLakesPILs

Building Environmental Jurisprudence to Reclaim Lakes as Commons for Posterity: Compilation of ESG Lake Work

Collated here are petitions, affidavits, memos and notes filed by ESG to protect lakes of Karnataka before Karnataka High Court (WP 817/2008 & WP 38401/2014) and Supreme Court of India (Civil Appeal 17166/2013). You will also find here judicial orders, reports and laws that are an outcome of this ongoing effort. This section will be updated frequently.

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Lake PILsPILsPress Releases

A New Chapter in Decentralised Governance of Lakes of Karnataka: Principal Bench of Karnataka High Court directs the State to constitute District Lake Protection Committees in Environment Support Group v. State of Karnataka (WP No. 817 of 2008)

On 15 June 2021, the Principal Bench of the Karnataka High Court headed by Chief Justice Abhay Oka pronounced an order that will significantly change lake governance across Karnataka state, in rural and urban areas. This order will now pave the way for truly decentralised governance of lakes as commons, allowing the local public direct access to these Committees. The order was issued in response to an application made by Leo F. Saldanha, Coordinator of Environment Support Group, who sought modifications to the landmark 2012 judgment in ESG’s Lakes PIL Environment Support Group v. State of Karnataka (W.P. No. 817/2008), to strengthen lake governance from the ground up.

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CampaignsCommonsLake PILsLakesPILsWater

Karnataka High Court directs Revenue Secretary to demonstrate compliance in ESG Lakes PIL

For almost two years now, Chief Justice Mr. Abhay Oka of the High Court of Karnataka has systematically developed jurisprudence to protect lakes as our commons, and for posterity. This is being achieved by his orders in a PIL filed by Citizens Action Group (CAG) PIL (WP 38401/2014). The jurisprudence reaffirms a schema for protecting and rehabilitating lakes based on their ground up monitoring, and for their rehabilitation through public involvement while ensuring regulatory oversight is transparent and accountable.

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