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Over 2,000 trees to be cut for Bengaluru sub-urban railway project?

Bengaluru's Suburban Train Project, aimed at alleviating traffic congestion, is under scrutiny for plans to remove 2,138 trees. The project seeks to introduce new railway corridors, but this extensive tree-cutting has raised environmental concerns. Critics are calling for more sustainable urban development, and authorities are considering public feedback on whether to hire a private company or contract teams for tree removal.

Over 2,000 trees to be cut for Bengaluru sub-urban railway project? vkp
First Published Oct 14, 2023, 9:26 AM IST

In a bid to ease the city's traffic congestion, Bengaluru's Suburban Train Project is causing quite a stir as it plans to chop down over 2,000 trees. This much-anticipated project, funded jointly by state and central governments, aims to introduce four new railway corridors. However, the construction of Corridor-4 from Rajanakunte to Heelalige has raised concerns, as it threatens the removal of 2,138 trees.

A survey conducted by K-Ride identified a total of 2,364 trees that must make way for the project. Of these, 954 trees stand in the path from Ambedkar Nagar to Channasandra, with another 1,410 trees from Channasandra to Muddenahalli Cross. Although the survey suggested the possibility of relocating 226 trees based on their measurements, it ultimately left 2,138 trees slated for the axe.

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In August of last year, K-Ride submitted a proposal to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for tree removal along the suburban rail line. This led BBMP to open the door to public objections about the tree clearance. Depending on the feedback from the public, BBMP is now mulling over whether to hire a private company or contract teams to handle the tree-cutting work.

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Bengaluru has witnessed the decline of its green cover due to tree-cutting practices, often for road expansion and metro projects. To address this issue, a new rule dictates that for every tree removed, 10 saplings must be planted. The BBMP forest department has now instructed K-Ride to plant a whopping 21,380 saplings in place of the 2,138 trees marked for removal in the suburban rail project.

Critics argue that the project's tree-cutting methods are further depleting the city's greenery and are calling for a more environmentally friendly approach to development.

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