Friday, October 16, 2009

Metro axes transplantation

Metro axes transplantation
Though many are for transplanting trees, BMRCL feels it is a waste of money with low success

It will soon be curtains for 1,100 lofty trees in central Bangalore. With Namma Metro taking up tunnelling work, it is a matter of time before these living trees turn out to be timber. Though Metro authorities initially claimed that the trees would be transplanted elsewhere, the move has been dropped as transplantation costs a bomb, besides having a negligible success rate.
According to BMRCL managing director N Sivasailam, transplantation of each grown tree would cost close to Rs 1.5 lakh and even if it is done with the utmost care, the success rate is a mere eight to nine per cent. In previous attempts, many transplanted trees withered away. Hence it appeared to be a waste of money. “Instead, it is better if we take up replanting after the work as the stations will function beneath the earth,” he said.
“A total of 1,100 trees have been identified along the underground alignment in the central area. Out of these, 100 trees will have to be removed permanently and the remaining 1,000 trees can be retained by replanting the seedlings once the work gets completed”, said Sivasailam during the joint inspection by opposition leaders Siddaramaiah (Assembly) and V S Ugrappa (Council) in front of Vidhana Soudha.
The majestic buildings of Vidhana Soudha and High Court (formerly Attara Kacheri) will be safe even after Namma Metro’s tunnelling work begins. The BMRCL will use controlled blasting techniques along with chemical cuttings developed by the scientists of National Institute of Rock Mechanics and Indian Institute of Science.
The distance between the basement stone of Vidhana Soudha and Metro is 30 metres while it is 50 metres from the High Court. Even though the earth underneath the Soudha and Court is a composition of both heavy rocks and soil, use of special technology like controlled blasting and chemical cutting of stones would bring down the danger, explained Sivasailam. However, Siddaramaiah said, “Though the measures explained by the scientists are acceptable at the outset, it has to be examined and implemented in a scientific way by the experts, safeguarding Vidhana Soudha and the High Court.”
Unhappy over the escalating costs of the project from its earlier alignment approved in 2003, Siddaramaiah said, “The cost has almost doubled from its original Rs 8,150 crore to close to Rs 12,000 crore. This would only burden the people and this should not happen.”


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