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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Citizen activists ask Bengaluru civic body to reconsider decision of cutting trees at Koramangala

In 2018, the BBMP Forest Department had stated that the project will affect 60 trees, of which 39 will be cleared through transplantation.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 3, 2021 8:26:54 am
The Bengaluru civic body will be cutting down trees to construct an elevated corridor from Ejipura Main Road (Inner Ring Road), Sony World Junction to Kendriya Sadan in Koramangala. (Express Photo)

Citizen activists of Bengaluru, along with the NGO Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), have submitted a memorandum to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) chief commissioner Gaurav Gupta and BBMP deputy conservator of forest (DCF) Govinda Raju asking them to reconsider their decision of cutting trees to construct an elevated corridor from Ejipura Main Road (Inner Ring Road), Sony World Junction to Kendriya Sadan in Koramangala.

The letter has expressed dissent to a BBMP forest division memorandum that has increased the number of trees to be felled as opposed to the initial statement given in 2018.

In 2018, the BBMP Forest Department had stated that the project will affect 60 trees, of which 39 will be cleared through transplantation.

The letter also mentioned how, even despite several public requests and RTIs filed to stop the felling of trees for this project, the BBMP forest department has planned to double the number of trees needed to be cut without bringing this to the notice of the public.

Citizen activists have requested commissioner Gupta to visit the site and call for public consultation before going ahead with the project.

According to the recent BBMP forest division office memorandum, 67 trees have been approved to be felled. It also read that 17 trees will be translocated and 12 trees will be retained on the site.

Vinod Jacob, the general manager at NBF, said, “We are not against development or infrastructure projects but would like to have a public opinion and consult environmental tree experts so that we could arrive at how this matter can be resolved. It is requested that the revised details be uploaded and prominently made visible on the BBMP website so that the people can also take a note of the situation. We would like to have a copy of the latest notice on how many more trees are further planned to be felled.”

Poornima Shetty, the president of iCare Brigade, a social organization, stated, “Authorities need to understand that development should not be undertaken at the cost of ecology. If you are destroying trees, you are indirectly destroying the future of the human race. Transparency and citizen consultation will help projects to be developed ecologically.”

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