Friday, December 18, 2009

Experts to study underground metro

Experts to study underground metro

Court has recommended seven members for the team that will submit report in 15 days

Odeal D'Souza. Bangalore



The Karnataka High Court on Thursday issued a direction to the state government that an expert committee be constituted to submit a report on metro work between the High Court and Vidhana Soudha, which will affect the Cubbon Park. The directive was issued by a division bench headed by Justice V Gopala Gowda as it was hearing a petition filed by the horticulture department, seeking permission of the court to undertake the Namma Metro project in Cubbon Park.
The court suggested that a committee of seven members be set up, comprising the state's chief secretary, registrar general, traffic commissioner, principal secretary of the environment department, as also an environmentalist. It recommended that prominent IISc hydrologist, Prof Madhushekar be part of the team. The experts will examine all aspects of temporary roads and ancillary buildings necessary for the metro project's underground station.
In its petition, the horticulture department had said that the metro corporation would require 11,160.86 sq metres of area temporarily, and 2,126.71 sq metres permanently to house the Vidhana Soudha underground station and ancillary buildings. The department sought permission for felling 116 trees—22 for traffic diversion through alternate roads, 65 for the station, and 29 for ancillary buildings. The department also stated that 11 trees would need to be pruned.
The committee's report is expected to be submitted in 15 days.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, the High Court adjourned hearing on the sand mining case to Friday.
The bench, headed by Justice Gopal Gowda, asked the advocate general Ashok Haranahalli to submit a report with all the pertinent details on the issue of sand mining.
Justice Gopal Gowda sought information on the number of licenses for mining issued in the 7,778 acres of land; the impact of mining operations on agricultural land, and whether patta land is being converted for the purpose of sand mining will be probed.

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