Thursday, April 19, 2007

Painful adieu as trees are felled

Painful adieu as trees are felled

The Hindu

Some residents see it as unavoidable, others shed tears

BANGALORE: People using the Old Madras Road on Wednesday were confronted with the painful sight of a row of magnificent, fully grown trees being felled near the Isolation Hospital to pave way for the Metro rail project.

The felling commenced the day before and two trees came down on Wednesday.

Though it was a distressing sight, residents of the area were stoic about it.

They told The Hindu they were resigned to the fact that the city's ambitious project aimed at decongesting the roads would entail some sacrifice of foliage.

"You cannot change the design of the Metro project now to save some trees," said P. Janardhanan, a senior citizen who runs an industry off the road and lives in an apartment by the road.

"The Metro project will help decongest the city. The development work must go on."

Zafarullah Khan, a senior manager at a private firm, was more doubtful. Mr. Khan, who has been living in the area for over a decade, recalled the felling of a row of shade-giving trees a few years ago so that the road could be widened.

"The road has lost most of its charm," he said, adding that if more greenery went, the place would be no longer fit to live in.

He said, however, that the Metro was a necessity for Bangalore and suggested that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) plant trees in every available space in the same area.

For shopkeeper K. Vishwanath, the felling of trees was not an issue at all. He could not wait to ride on the Metro. "How long will it take to come up?" he said.

The BMRCL plans to cut down 1,500 trees along the proposed 33-km network of the Metro. It has already planted 15,000 plants in Anjanapura Layout and other areas of the city to reduce the impact on the environment.


Meanwhile, a group of people led by retired High Court judge M.F. Saldanha and former MLA and Chairperson of the Karnataka State Women's Commission Pramila Nesargi staged a protest against the demolition of the M.G. Road promenade for the Metro.

The Corporation has assured Bangaloreans that the promenade will be replaced after the work is over, although its height will be less. "But who knows what will happen after five years?" Mr. Saldanha said.

The protesters took out a procession on M.G. Road from the Anil Kumble Circle. They found a kindred soul in Vidya A.M., who said the Metro should go underground to prevent destruction of the promenade.

Mr. Saldanha said a monorail would be better suited to Bangalore as it would take up very little space on the ground and would use less power than the Metro rail.


At Thursday, April 19, 2007 at 9:55:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the source of this article?



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