Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Project reduces pollution, says Yellappa Reddy

Project reduces pollution, says Yellappa Reddy
Noted environmentalist and former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Dr A N Yellappa Reddy has said that the alignment issue should not be allowed to stall the Namma Metro project at the present juncture.

“When 30 to 40 percent of the work is already completed and the project costing thousands of crores having made a headway after a number of years, the protests now are not feasible and not wise. The Metro, once operational, will reduce the number of vehicles on roads and bring pollution levels down,” he told Deccan Herald, referring to increasing protests by Hasiru Usiru against the project.

Dr Reddy, however, added that he shares the concern, which has to be looked at with a holistic approach.
A group of 200 people cannot be allowed to take the City for a ride long after the State Cabinet and Union Ministry of Urban Development approved Bangalore Metro. “When half of Bangalore has been destroyed for various infrastructure projects, why rise a hue and cry now? Do they know the City once had 300 lakes and how many of them exist today,” questioned Dr Reddy.

Blaming the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for lack of adequate transparency, Dr Reddy felt that the Corporation should have come out with more facts and made public the approvals accorded by the Centre and State governments.

Alternate open spaces

Calling for a new look to develop alternative open spaces in the City as green cover, the former secretary to Government (Department of Forests and Ecology) observed that the demand to take Metro underground is not viable.

“It is very expensive and means going back to square one. Do the protesters realise the time wasted for the project to take shape? Every decision has to go for approval by the Centre and State, who are equity partners in Namma Metro. Tenders have to called for again. There is ample scope to restructure and redesign lost green cover,” he added.

Suggesting that State government consider developing the vast area on the Race Course as a tree/bio-diversity park, the green expert said this and the BU Jnanabharathi campus are examples of potential bio-diversity spots amidst the urban environment in the City.

“These can be converted into lung spaces. We can also recover and develop vast chunks of land that have been encroached and identified by the A T Ramaswamy committee. While 70 percent of such land can be converted into green cover, 20 percent can be allotted to housing facilities for the homeless and urban poor,” Dr Reddy opined.


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