Bengaluru: The forest cell of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has granted the permission to cut down as many as 683 trees for two different infrastructure projects in the capital city.
The Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) sought the forest cell’s permission to initially axe 736 trees, which were standing at the highway project area extending from Gunjur to Bellathur Bridge, Bengaluru, for its project of improvement and widening of the road. When the forest cell invited public opinions on the project, only one objection was received on environmental grounds. However, KRDCL stated that the project is inevitable since said section is heavily congested.
“Once the project is implemented, there can be a safe signal free Road from Attibele to Hoskote (NH-48 to NH-75) and it will create smooth flow of traffic from one National Highway to another National Highway. In this entire stretch, proposal is for handling of road bottlenecks by widening the existing two lane roads to four lane roads in selected reaches and construction of flyovers and grade separators at major intersections and railway crossings,” KRDCL said in a statement.
The Varthur and Gunjur are two adjoining densely built- up areas in southern part of Bengaluru. These two areas are rapidly developing as residential and commercial hubs in proximity to ITPL, Whitefield, Electronic city and Hosur. Varthur and Gunjur areas besides being IT hubs have also developed as educational hubs as a number of International Schools are located in this stretch.
“It is a painful sight to see the school buses with small kids getting stuck in traffic jams for several hours daily. As the road width at this stretch is narrow and underdeveloped, the road is lacking in basic infrastructure such as storm water drains, utility corridors, foot paths etc. In the absence of drains, the rainwater flows on asphalted road surface thereby creating potholes causing inconvenience to the road users,” said a KRDCL official in response to objections against the project.
However, based on the field inspection conducted by the BBMP forest cell, it was permitted to fell 480 trees and translocate 82 trees of 736 trees. The remaining had to be maintained on the ground.
Bengaluru Metro project
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) had sought forest cell’s permission for felling 236 trees to build an elevated metro line and station from Dooravaninagar to Kempapura Cross. The line is part of the ORR-Airport line. The project received 97 objections and suggestions were received. A BBMP officials said that as many as 203 of 236 trees were permitted to be felled.