Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yellappa Reddy quits BMRCL committee

Yellappa Reddy quits BMRCL committee

Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: Taking serious objection to what he called Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited’s indifference towards environment protection, A.N. Yellappa Reddy, Environment Impact Assessment and Monitoring Committee chairman of Namma Metro, has submitted his resignation from the post. The committee had become dysfunctional for the past two years after N. Sivasailam took over as BMRCL Managing Director, Mr. Reddy said.

In a tersely worded letter to Mr. Sivasailam, Mr. Reddy said the committee, constituted under his chairmanship by Namma Metro in 2006-07, comprised among others Shekhar Madhu of the Indian Institute of Science and heart specialist H. Paramesh. The committee met from time to time and discussed in length the impact of the mega project on the city’s environment. Whenever environmentalists raised their concern over the project’s impact, he as the chairman of the committee had addressed their apprehensions.

However, for the past two years, BMRCL had not convened even one meeting of the committee, which he said, spoke a lot about the corporation’s concern for the environment. “Indiscriminate felling of thousands of trees for the Namma Metro project across the city has shaken the environmentalists. As the details of how the project is impacting the environment due to the project are not available with me, I am unable to answer queries from the public,” Mr. Reddy said.

Mr. Reddy told presspersons that though he had submitted his resignation on September 22, BMRCL authorities had not bothered to contact him even as of Friday. He said the project was being executed by engineers on their own without any regard to the environmental consequences. No concrete steps appear to have been taken to minimise the damage, particularly during the proposed underground tunnelling work and construction of underground stations.

BMRCL also appears insensitive on the impact on prominent buildings such as the Central College, the Vidhana Soudha and the High Court, he said. He further noted that afforestation programme in lieu of felled trees was not being executed properly.

Efforts by The Hindu to contact Mr. Sivasailam went in vain.

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