CfB writes to KSPCB against public consultation on PRR

Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) wants the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to scrap the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and public consultation for the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) on August 18, and present a new scheme for public review with a change in the alignment, as mandated by the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act.

CfB said PRR has been proposed without due process and proper public consultation. “This is a project costing over ₹15,000 crore, 33,000 trees face the axe, is 65 km long, covers water bodies, catchment areas and reserved forests,” the release said.

The initial EIA report was deemed erroneous and rejected by the National Green Tribunal, as the BDA had claimed that only 200 trees were to be axed. “At the same time, the Horticulture and Forest Department submitted to the NGT that 16,685 trees would have to be felled. Despite BDA’s protestations, the Supreme Court ruled that a fresh and accurate EIA be prepared, which brought to light that over 33,000 trees would be felled,” CfB has said.

CfB wants the BDA to change the alignment and render it a new project as per the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. “The current EIA is null and void. It cannot be used to evaluate the new project,” the release said.

It has also criticised the decision to hold a public consultation in the midst of a pandemic.

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Sagar Biswas

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