BMRCL accepts expert panel’s suggestion, 59 trees saved
HC asks company to pause till November 4 on removing 68 trees based on permission granted by panel
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) not to go ahead with felling 39 trees and translocating 29 trees at various locations of the metro project till November 4, the next date of hearing on a PIL petition.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi passed the interim order as the 15-day waiting period for the BMRCL to execute permission granted for removing trees will come to an end on November 1, before the court takes up hearing of the petition on November 4, and the petitioners are required to file their responses to the permission granted.
Initially, the BMRCL had submitted an application for removing 130 trees at various locations in BTM Layout, government ITI college ground , Dairy Circle, Lakkasandra and M.G Road.
Adjusted location of yard
However, the BMRCL decided to retain 59 of the 63 trees identified for axing in the government ITI college ground for building a fabrication yard. The company readjusted the yard structure location on the suggestions made by the Technical Expert Committee (TEC), which includes experts from the Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.
Of the remaining 71 trees, the TEC granted permission for removing 68 trees (for felling 39 trees and for translocating 29) while asking the BMRCL to retain three more trees at BTM Layout as they were at the boundary of the project and not hindering construction activities.
The tree officer of the BBMP had on October 17 granted permission as per the advise of the TEC.
Meanwhile, the BBMP said that census of around 30,000 trees has been completed. The civic body would give a geo-tag for every tree covered under the census as it was pointed out by the petitioner’s counsel that not all the trees covered have been given a geo-tag.
BBMP counsel said that he had advised officials geo-tag every tree. The bench was also of the view that the correct way would be to geo-tag every tree.