Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Proposal to fell trees and take over Cubbon Park lawns for Metro work

Proposal to fell trees and take over Cubbon Park lawns for Metro work

Staff Reporter
State seeks High Court’s nod for alternative road
BMRCL proposes to temporarily take over lawns in front of Vidhana Soudha, High Court for traffic

Road diversion for 24 months; once work is done, lawns to be restored

BANGALORE: In a move that could raise the hackles of environmentalists, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has proposed a road across Cubbon Park, by the side of the existing KGID building, and also to fell at least 22 trees in the park to facilitate construction of an alternative road once the Ambedkar Veedhi is closed to traffic.

BMRCL’s proposal to take over, temporarily, part of Cubbon Park was placed before the Karnataka High Court by the State Government.

In an interlocutory application (IA) on traffic diversion filed before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice Mohan Shantangouder, the State said the Namma Metro project would entail construction of a temporary road and allowing traffic on the High Court lawns during the construction of the underground Metro Railway Station on Ambedkar Veedhi.

The entire stretch of metro on Ambedkar Veedhi (from GPO Circle to Gopala Gowda Circle will be underground and an underground station has been proposed on the road between the Vidhana Soudha and High Court).

Temporary move
As traffic on the road cannot be closed, BMRCL has proposed to temporarily take over the lawns in front of both Vidhana Soudha and High Court and allow traffic to flow on them.

Once the alternate roads are ready, Ambedkar Veedhi will be closed for traffic for 24 months.

Since the lawns of both Vidhana Soudha and the High Court come under Cubbon Park which is under the management of the Department of Horticulture, BMRCL has asked the department to take up the issue with the High Court.

BMRCL now proposes to divert traffic from Queen’s Road Junction to Cubbon Park Road near the KGID-Press Club buildings.

This means that traffic on Ambedkar Veedhi will not be allowed from GPO Circle and motorists would have to take a detour at Minsk Square, go inside Cubbon Park and take the road near KGID towards Gopala Gowda Circle and beyond.

Road length
On the other side too, the lawns of the Vidhana Soudha would have to be temporarily ripped apart for laying one stretch of temporary road. The temporary road to connect the existing road near KGID building is likely to be 150 metres in length.

The road diversion would be for 24 months and once the work is completed, the lawns on both sides would be restored.

New saplings would be planted and the lawn on the High Court side would be restored after consultation with the High Court administration.

The landscape in front of the Vidhana Soudha and High Court too would be restored.

Incidentally, the High Court has already permitted BMRCL to take up a survey of its lawns and surrounding areas before taking up work.

Felling of trees
BMRCL said 22 trees in Cubbon Park would have to be cut for making alternate roads and 65 trees for constructing the station and other related works.

The Bench adjourned further hearing of the case by two weeks.

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