The forest division of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) permitted the felling of 67 trees in south east Bengaluru citing impediments to the construction of an elevated traffic corridor from Ejipura Main Road (Inner Ring Road) via Sony World Junction to the Kendriya Sadana project.
The official memorandum of the division also reads that 17 trees will be translocated and 12 others will be retained on the site.
“The translocation of trees should be done at suitable vacant places identified in collaboration with the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) of BBMP at the premises of St John’s Medical College and Hospital in Bengaluru. In lieu of 10 trees felled, 10 healthy and heightened saplings have to be planted as per forestry practices and have to be maintained for a period of three years,” the order copy reads.
However, environmentalist Sunil Achar feels BBMP should trim the branches of the trees and go ahead with the construction.
“There is no need to cut the trees near Koramangala BDA complex. The branches can be trimmed as the trees are on the roadside and in no way are coming in the line of the project,” he said.
In December 2017, permission was sought for removal of trees which were standing over the median from Kendriya Sadana to Ejipura Junction for erection of piers and the then DCF of BBMP had accorded permission for translocation for 39 trees for the same project.
The memorandum reads, “Further in continuation of the same project, the works related to substructure (piers) of the elevated corridor from Kendriya Sadana to Ejipura Junction is 80% complete and the construction of portal frame for up-ramp and down-ramp of flyover towards the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board junction ie., St John’s Medical College premises, is under progress. The existing project is one and the same which has been approved by the Government of Karnataka to facilitate signal-free movement for vehicular traffic on Inner Ring Road, Koramangala, thereby, avoiding four major junctions at Water Tank Junction, BDA Junction, Sony World Signal Junction and Ejipura Junction.”
Field Forest Officers conducted a spot inspection on October 1 last year and rain tree, hippe, mahogany, gulmohar, jacaranda and honge are the species of trees that will be axed.
The work order of the project was issued in May 2017 and the construction started in October 2017. The deadline of the project was November 2019.
In July, the Karnataka High Court took cognizance of the inordinate delay of the project and had directed the BBMP to state the timeline for the completion of the project.