83 trees to be cut down for Ullal underpass

83 trees to be cut down for Ullal underpass, project to cost Rs 32 cr

Traffic solutions: Flyover, underpass planned in two different corners of Outer Ring Road

The underpass is aimed at decongesting the Outer Ring Road at the Ullal junction. Credit: DH PHOTO/JANARDHAN B K

A four-lane underpass will come up on the Outer Ring Road junction that links Ullal Main Road with Jnanabharathi in western Bengaluru. 

While the underpass is expected to solve traffic problems in this part of the city, it will also come with a green cost: 83 trees, some of them decades old, will have to be cut down. The underpass will be 323 metres long and cost Rs 32 crore to build. 

On February 23, the BBMP issued a notice, seeking objections from the general public over "evacuation of trees standing in the way of road-widening work" for building the underpass. The BBMP has given 10 days for filing the objections. 

If sources in the BBMP are to be believed, work on the project will start soon. 

The Ullal junction is among the busiest in western Bengaluru, and there is little that authorities can do currently to ease the traffic congestion. 

The underpass as a solution has its own challenges. As per the earlier alignment, it required land acquisition on either side of the outer ring road. But this wasn't feasible due to the presence of commercial establishments on the western side. The BBMP has now changed the alignment towards the Bangalore University (BU) side to reduce the need to acquire built-up properties, an official said. 

To further minimise the cost, the BBMP is considering the cut and cover method. (This method involves digging a large trench or rectangular hole in the ground, which is then covered by a concrete deck. Once the deck is ready, traffic above can resume). 

The project will be funded by the chief minister's Nava Nagarothana scheme. 

The underpass will have service roads towards Magadi Road and Kengeri Road for vehicles coming from Ullal or Jnanabharathi. 

As for the 83 trees that have to be cleared, an official associated with the project said that only old and unsustainable trees would be cut down. Most trees will be transplanted inside the university campus, the official promised. A few trees on the campus will also be removed, he added. 

Nandeesh J R, Executive Engineer, RR Nagar, BBMP, said that the underpass would not only ease traffic congestion but also cut down carbon dioxide emissions. 

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