Saturday, June 24, 2006

Govt should scrap metrorail: Saldanha

Govt should scrap metrorail: Saldanha
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The Government should not go ahead with the Metrorail as environment clearance has not been given for the project either by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board or any other government agency, a group of like-minded Bangaloreans headed by retd High Court justice M F Saldanha demanded on Friday.

The project is being taken up though it involves displacement of about 15 lakh families and businesses. “How can such a project involving large scale acquisitions and displacements be allowed without satisfactory environmental impact assessment,” Justice Saldana asked at a press conference.

Advocate Pramila Nesargi said that it was unfortunate that the metrorail project was being inaugurated by the Prime Minister himself and threatened to approach the courts against the project.

The metrorail system is essentially an underground mass transportation system involving large-scale acquisition of lands, besides a whopping Rs 6,000 crore investment. The system is outdated and has not been taken up in any of the advanced countries, justice Saldana observed.

He warned that the metrorail project could do immense damage to the city’s environment as it involves digging up of Cubbon Park, Lalbagh and MG Road.

“While we take pride in Bangalore being the centre of world attention for development of latest technology, it would be a terrible irony and disaster if the citizens permit archaic systems to be implemented by the ignorant”.

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