Friday, October 30, 2009

16 trees to be axed for project

16 trees to be axed for project
Bangalore: Oct 29, DHNS:

Even as more than 200 trees face axe for Metro project on Dr Ambedkar Veedhi, a similar fate is staring as many as 16 trees for the work on Rabindranath Tagore Circle underpass in Basavangudi.

While the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) maintains that the project is sanctioned under Central government scheme and hence do not fall under the purview of the State regulations, the environmentalists say otherwise. They contend that construction of the underpass is itself a violation of the High Court ruling on felling of trees and encroachment of green space. The HC ruling on March 16, 2009 was in response to a PIL filed by green organisations.

Green activists contend that felling of trees and encroachment of green space must be in compliance with Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act (KTCP).

“Under the final notification of the CDP 2007, the Tagore Circle underpass project would amount to a gross violation of the KTCP Act and also a contempt of the HC,” explained Environmental Support Group (ESG) member, Leo Saldhana. The CDP has designated Rabindranath Tagore Circle as a “Green Space” and “Park Area” in Bangalore city.

Sanction not required

Palike officials however say that the Tagore Circle is being retained in its original form. Krishna Rao Park has not been acquired and neither felling of tress require any sanction. The underpass work has been taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). “Hence, CDP approval is not at all required” argued Engineer-in-Chief, BBMP, A K Gopalaswamy.

In response to sustained media reports on the vehicular underpass, A Ravindra, Advisor to the Chief Minister, visited the Rabindranath Tagore Circle in Basavangudi to take stock of the on-going work. It is learnt that Ravindra will call for a meeting of all civic agencies in the coming week to discuss the matter.

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