Metro to go underground, with 211 trees

A total of 211 trees are coming in the way of Namma Metro’s 13.89-km underground corridor, which runs between Jayanagara Fire station (South ramp) and Nagawara (North ramp). On the directions of Karnataka High Court, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Friday issued a public notice, seeking feedback including objections from citizens with regard to felling trees along the Metro corridor.

A majority of the trees are located in place where the 12 stations including MG Road and Dairy Circle, are coming up. The civic body has, however, not provided full details on places where the trees will be affected, description of the trees etc on its website, despite a clear direction from the court.

As per the public notice, the BBMP has stated that: there are 276 trees standing in the project area between Jayanagara Fire Station and Nagawara except at Landford station and All Saints’ Church station of Reach 6. “The BMRCL has proposed to remove 212 trees,” the notice stated.The civic body has requested people to send their comments either by post or email ([email protected]) within ten days.

When asked about the tree details not being uploaded on the website, Ranganath Swamy, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Tree Officer

), BBMP said he would look into it.

The matter had also come up for hearing in the High Court on Friday. The counsel representing petitioner and senior environmentalist DT Devare requested for a face-to-face public consultation with regard to felling of trees instead of the public notice, where citizens can only voice their opinion through emails or posts. In response, the BBMP representatives asked more time to reply. The next hearing has been scheduled on December 9.

In June this year, the civic body had chopped off about 30 trees from the premises of Jayanagar Fire station and Karmikara Bavana on Bannerghatta road just a day before the Court hearing was scheduled. On its part, the BMRCL is struggling to complete the construction of Metro on time due to delays in approvals for cutting trees. The corporation has already engaged three contractors for the construction of underground line at different stretches.

Officials say the work has been slowed down as some trees are blocking the work.

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Sagar Biswas

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