Friday, July 30, 2010

No middle path: Road wins over trees

No middle path: Road wins over trees


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Even before the controversy over the road connect ing Bellary Road to Yelahanka through the Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra is laid to rest, BBMP has decid ed to construct a road through the biodiversity hub unmindful of protests by facul ty and students.

Experts have cried foul saying that this will cause irreparable damage to a prominent green cover in the city, reports Amit S.

Upadhye

Bengaluru, July 29: Green activists of the city, who have already lost the battle against the war memorial in the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain park, woke up to yet another threat Thursday morning as BBMP officials arrived at the Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra (GKVK) campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences i (UAS) on Bellary Road to build a road through its lush greenery even as controversy still rages over , a 9-km-long road that was to cut through it to provide easier access for commuters from Yeshwanthpur and Yelahanka to the Bellary Road and the new international airport at Devanahalli.
When BBMP first began construction of the road, f several environmentalists and former vice-chancellors of UAS filed a petition in . the high court opposing it saying it would damage the fragile ecology of the campus with its many botanical plants and large number of trees.
l BBMP, however, contended the project was not new and the UAS Board had okayed it when first proposed. The high court then directed a lower court to review the project in detail.
, But even while the UAS . and environmentalists were waiting for the lower court to give its verdict on the dispute, a single judge bench passed an order on a public interest litigation recently allowing construction of a road through the campus from the Judicial Layout to Bellary Road. Enraged faculty and board members of the UAS approached Governor H.R. Bhardwaj imploring him to help them protect the university campus, a declared biodiversity heritage site.

But there is a feeling of despondency on the campus as many now feel that they are fighting a losing battle.
"Which judicial authority can we approach in the state when the high court itself has allowed the construction of the road although the matter is pending before a lower court," ask angry faculty and students.

"We have no hope from the Karnataka judiciary and see no option now but to approach the Supreme Court to save our campus, " says Siddarth Prabhakar, president of the Agriculture Students' Association, Some of them claim they are in the process of collecting documents to show that the former UAS vice chancellor was forced to sign the documents allowing BBMP to build a road through the campus.

"None of the lawyers want to take up this case as it involves the Judicial Layout where the judges stay," claims a senior professor.

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