Monday, October 27, 2008

KR Rd loses green cover for Metro

KR Rd loses green cover for Metro

Bangalore: A stretch of KR Road looks like it has been storm-swept, with hundreds of tree trunks, twigs, leaves and branches lying around. However, it is not heavy rain but the upcoming Metro Rail project that has brought these trees down. Over 341 trees will be cut this week from Prof Shiv Shankar Circle to Siddaiah Circle. A huge number of trees were cut in 2007 to develop the Metro on the MG Road-Byappanahalli stretch. According to authorities, green cover from Yeshwantpur to Swastik Circle and Magadi Road will soon reduce. In 2007, some trees were replanted in other places to avoid unnecessary felling. These are healthy and surviving, but none of the KR Road trees has been replanted so far.
Most of the trees that are being cut are on the campus of Bangalore Institute of Technology, Visvesvaraya College of Science and VV Puram College of Science and Arts. While the garden used to be a place for students to relax after a hard day’s work, some college staff are annoyed at the ruthless chopping of old trees. “The college had planted these trees for the students. Some of them are 30 to 40 years old. They are mercilessly cutting off everything. We want to protest but do not know if there is any other alternative for the Metro. It’s not even been two years since they made the walker’s track; now it will have to make way for the Metro,” said Dr Bhagiratha, vice-principal of Visvesvaraya College of Science.
According to former additional chief secretary, Chiranjeev Singh, whatever the cost, the Metro should have been underground to save the little forest cover left. “The whole traffic plan is being made with cars in mind. There is hardly any space for pedestrians. They originally wanted to take the overground Metro through Cubbon Park. I was shocked. When I was still in office and this plan came up, I had raised objections and the plan was cancelled. They are killing trees. How can they do this? Even the MG Road Metro stretch should have been underground. Delhi has a combination of underground and overground Metro, but they have wide roads unlike ours,” he said.
BBMP’s assistant conservator of forests, M R Suresh, said the high court-empowered committee approved tree-felling in these zones. He said Metro work will start immediately after the trees are cleared. Money raised from the sale of timber will go to the BBMP’s funds. His assistant said none of the trees on the KR Road stretch have been replanted; it will be considered if they are healthy and can be uprooted.

This is one of many trees that will make way for the Metro


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