Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bye bye trees

Bye bye trees


Express News Service First Published : 12 Sep 2009 10:08:41 AM ISTLast Updated : 12 Sep 2009 10:12:37 AM IST
BANGALORE: As many as 199 trees situated along Dr BR Ambedkar Veedhi will make way for the underground Metro Rail Station in front of Vidhana Soudha. The trees have been identified by the BBMP’s Forest Cell after much deliberations and working out all the feasibilities.
As part of underground reach work of Metro Rail here and under phase-1 of the 42km-Metro Rail work, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is already laying alternate temporary roads on either sides of the Vidhana Soudha and the High Court.
Sources in the BBMP’s Forest Cell informed that the trees would be cut in phased manner. “In first stage, 25 trees will be cut for the Metro work that will be taken up in the next week,’’ they added.
The sources said that according to Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act of 1976, the tree officer is empowered to give the permission for felling trees for any developmental works after deliberations and working out the feasibilities. The sources informed that the BMRCL has even given a PowerPoint presentation to the Bio-diversity Committee regarding the Metro work for their suggestions.
Environmental issues The Committee, which was set-up by the former BBMP Commissioner K Jairaj in 2007 to discuss environmental issues and give suggestions, comprises 10 eminent environmentalists, headed by noted environmentalist Dr AN Yellappa Reddy.
Speaking to Express, Yellappa Reddy said that presentation was held to discuss the modifications to minimise the damage and any alternative to mitigate problems.
“Also, precautions and safe technologies adopted for the underground work were discussed,’’ he added.
Reddy opined that financial and technological feasibilities also need to be examined to safeguard the environment.
“The committee has given few suggestions where the organic structure of Metro won’t be affected and it is expected that the BMRCL will come out with a comprehensive report regarding this. The committee will again meet on September 17 with BMRCL officials in the Palike,’’ he added.
Sources in the BBMP said that with underground tunnelling work for Metro Rail Station near Vidhana Soudha and High Court, there will be disturbances for the court proceedings and also roads are laid on the either sides.
Hence, it was said that the BMRCL had even given presentation before the High Court Building Committee where justices and judges were present.
The underground tunnels will be dug at an average depth of 12 meters. BMRCL Chief PRO BLY Chavan said that the presentation was done to bring to the notice of the justices about the work that would be undertaken and for the permission of the committee.
Chavan said that the underground Metro Rail Station would come between Gopal Gowda Circle and the entrance of Vidhana Soudha. “ The road will be cut open for the tunnelling work, which would take about two years from the time of starting,’’ he added.

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