This time, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has an intelligent plan to cut trees. The Palike instead of showing a big number of trees to be cut has divided the work. Instead of constructing one long underpass to provide signal-free corridor, it has planned three short underpasses and showed the number of trees to be cut separately for each underpass.

 

From Whitefield to Domlur (17.50 km) there will be three underpasses, and at least 50 trees will have to be axed. But after facing the public ire for planning to cut hundreds of trees for (now shelved) steel bridge project, the BBMP is all set to show a separate list of trees to be cut for each underpass, making the number look small.

 

According to the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act, if the BBMP, BDA or any agency has to cut 50 or more trees they should obtain a clearance from the tree committee. Hence the BBMP is planning to show less number of trees than the mandate.

 

Vijay Nishanth, Urban Conservationist and a member of the tree committee says, “This is not the first time the BBMP or BDA is planning a project at the cost of trees. The authorities have to explain the alignment of tree space to compensate for cutting trees. Since the legislation has been made in such way that the BBMP of BDA has to place the file before the tree committee if the number of trees is 50, the authorities break up and show a lesser number," he said.

 

The BBMP engineers in the special project wing defended their move and said once the project is implemented, the motorists can travel without traffic problem from Domlur to Whitefield. However, the pedestrians will have to walk a distance to cross either side of the roads on sky-walks. Since there are senior citizens, children and pregnant women who commute in these stretch by walk and take the BMTC bus, the BBMP has planned three underpasses- one at Wind-tunnel Road, connecting Old Airport and Chalghatta area, another at Suranjan Das-HAL Junction connecting Old Madras Road third one at Kundalahalli-Marathalli Ring Road. "These projects need a land of over 500 meters length and about 15 feet width on either side of the road for which trees need to be cut. "We have got the consent from NAL and have demolished a compound wall. Now we need to get permission from the ISRO,” said BBMP engineer.

 

“Once the trees to need to be cut are identified, the report will be submitted it to the tree committee for consideration,” he added.