Karnataka high court issues stay on elevated corridor project: Bengalureans to protest tree felling

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First Published 14, Mar 2019, 5:15 PM IST
Karnataka high court issues stay elevated corridor project Bengalureans form human chain protest tree felling
Highlights

Bengalureans will once again form a human chain to save its environment and trees as the government has decided to cut over 3000 trees including 120 trees around Cubbon Park to make way for an elevated corridor. Meanwhile, the Karnataka high court has issued a stay on the project.

 


Bengaluru: Following the Karnataka Government's decision to take up controversial elevated corridor project to connect North and South Bengaluru that would end up destroying green cover including 120 trees in an around the iconic Cubbon Park, the members of Cubbon Park Walkers Association, activists, environmentalists and the general public will stage a protest on March 16 to appeal to the government to forgo the project. Much to the delight of citizens, however, the Karnataka high court has issued a stay on the project.

Coming down heavily on the decision by the state government, S Umesh, president, Cubbon Park Walkers Association said that this is not a wise decision by the state government.

The previous government had come up with plans to build a steel bridge and after much protest the project was scrapped. Now, the Kumaraswamy-led government has taken up a project to build an elevated corridor which will result in the felling of thousands of trees.

"To display our protest of such a controversial project and to save our trees, we will form a human chain from Shanthi Nagar to Hebbal. Under the Parks Preservation Act, 1975, there can be no encroachment or illegal constructions in, or damage caused to parks and trees. Since the government has shown a callous attitude towards the environment, I will go to court to ensure that such projects are scrapped."

Srinivas Alavilli from Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) joined Umesh in criticising such a move and said activists from all walks of life will gather at Maurya Circle and register to protest the elevated corridor.

Demanding the improvement of the public transport system and the utilisation of Rs 27,000 crore in a better way, Vinay Srinivasa from Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike said, "The Elevated Corridor is a dangerous case of misplaced priorities. The allocated Rs 27,000 crore should be used in improving the bus system, roads, footpaths, healthcare, housing and education. This project will lead to an increase in car usage, higher pollution and destruction of the city," said Srinivasa.

Meanwhile, Namma Bengaluru Foundation that petitioned the high court stating that any project that needs to be undertaken in Bengaluru must be brought before the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMCP) for approval, welcomed the decision of the Karnataka High Court to issue a stay on the project on Wednesday.

The court has asked the government advocate to file his objection within two weeks’ time.

"The controversial project disturbs about eight lake buffer zones and will lead to the cutting down of 3000 trees. According to report from the Indian Institute of Science, the green cover has already been compromised. The tree cover was about 70% in the early 1980s is projected to reduce to less than 3% to in 2020 and in such a situation, projects are given the go-ahead without the approval of BMCP," NR Suresh, Director Namma Bengaluru Foundation said. 

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