Clamour to save trees from Bengaluru’s PRR project grows louder

Though the PRR is the need of the hour to ease traffic, the major drawback of this project is that it will take its toll on about 33,000 trees, three waterbodies and acres of forest areas

Bengaluru Peripheral ring road

Bengaluru: Worried over environmental cost to the construction of peripheral ring road (PRR), Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has submitted a memorandum to Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) chairman, S R Vishwanath, and urged him to publish the detailed project report (DPR) of the scheme in the public domain.

The demand for putting the PRR’s DPR in public domain is aimed at triggering debate among eco-friendly groups and seek experts’ views on saving thousands of tree, forest areas and water bodies likely to be hit by the project.

BDA, in April, had floated a tender inviting construction companies to develop 73.5 km PRR on public-private partnership (PPP) model. The 100 metre wide PRR will connect Tumakuru road and Hosur Road through Hesaraghatta Road, Doddaballapur Road, Ballari Road, Hennur-Bagalur Road, Old Madras Road, Hoskote-Anekal Road, and Sarjapur Road.

“The PRR has the potential to become an economic corridor much like the outer ring road (ORR) over the years and will also improve connectivity. Existing micro-markets like Whitefield and Electronic City will also see interest because of the improved connectivity. Though the PRR is the need of the hour to ease traffic, the major drawback of this project is the felling of approximately 33,000 trees for PRR development, which has raised concerns from environmentalists and citizens of Bengaluru. The project is supposed to affect forest land in Jarakabande Kaval and six water bodies too,” NGO said in a release.

Bengaluru Peripheral Ring Road

The NGO said that Vishwanath has assured that axed trees will be relocated in different parts of the city.

“It is estimated that more than 10,000 heavy vehicles use the ORR, which is facing pressure from the growing real estate around it. The new Kempegowda International Airport also pushes vehicular traffic. Though the authorities have laid out a plan for planting trees in lieu of those that would be axed, we on behalf of the citizens requested the BDA chairman to consider conducting a thorough study before going ahead with the proposed project and the expected results published for the concerned public. The DPR pertaining to the project should be published in public domain so that everyone studies and understands the plan and experts have a platform to aid the team in saving the trees, where possible,” NBF said.

Also Read: Bengaluru infra growth may suffer, as PRR project set to hit legal roadblock

The NGO also requested Vishwanath that an environment impacts assessment (EIA) of the project should be done and the same should be published in the public domain before the project is implemented.

Also Read: BBMP’s crucial meet on Nov 14 with stakeholders to resolve ORR issues

Vinod Jacob, general manager, NBF said, “We are not against infrastructure or development, but the project must have a holistic approach with public consultation without causing major climate changes to the local environment. There must be an eco-friendly approach in building infrastructure. We have asked them to consider our plan to build a better ‘Namma Bengaluru’ protecting the ecology and biodiversity of the city.”

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