Friday, December 18, 2009

Court panel to look into tree felling

Court panel to look into tree felling

Staff Reporter
Activists allege that the metro alignment will damage ecology

Bench has asked for a report within a fortnight

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday constituted a seven-member committee to look into the issue of cutting of tress in Cubbon Park for Namma Metro project and if any structural damage would be caused to the Vidhana Soudha and the High Court building when underground tunnelling work begins on Ambedkar Veedhi.

A Division Bench comprising Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice B.V. Nagaratna passed the order on applications by the State Government seeking permission from the High Court for construction of a temporary road to divert traffic through the Cubbon Park as Ambedkar Veedhi would be closed to traffic.

The State had filed another application seeking permission to build an underground Metro station on the Ambedkar Veedhi between the High Court and the Vidhana Soudha. As the two constructions come under Cubbon Park, which is a protected park area, the State had to seek court nod for taking up any development activity.

Bimal Desai, Govinda Rao and others had challenged the Metro alignment through the Cubbon Park saying it would destroy the park’s fragile environment.

Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli, appearing for the State, ruled out any change in alignment as well as any rethink on the underground station on the Ambedkar Veedhi.

The Bench then said it would constitute a seven-member committee to look into felling of trees and any possible structural damage. The members will be the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Environment), Registrar-General of High Court, Director of National Institute of Rock Mechanics, KGF; Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic; an environmentalist and the Chairman of the Task Force on Karnataka Infrastructure.

The Bench asked the panel to submit its report within a fortnight.

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