BMRCL to axe 165 trees for Gottigere-Nagawara line

BMRCL gets permission to axe 165 trees for Gottigere-Nagawara line

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has notified the permission to axe the trees in an order on May 21. DH file photo/Srikanta Sharma R

Preparations are on to resume the BMRCL’s major projects amid the pandemic with the Tree Committee permitting the felling of 165 trees for the metro line from Gottigere to Nagavara (Reach 6).

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has notified the permission to axe trees in a memorandum on May 21, bringing some form of transparency to the development projects that affect Bengaluru’s green cover. 

According to the order, 81 trees will be brought down to make way for the metro ramp at Jayanagara Fire Station, 22 for Vellara Station, 30 for MG Road underground station, five for Shivajinagar station, 22 for underground metro station and 10 for Pottery Town station.

The committee was set up on the orders of the high court after D T Devare of the Bangalore Environment Trust filed a petition against the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). The court had also said the corporation’s applications for tree felling need to be examined afresh. 

More than 50 trees had already been felled based on previous approvals.

The committee, which met last month, decided to revisit the eight metro project sites when it was found that 11 trees in four project sites were not enumerated. 

“It is true that skipping a tree in one site will reduce the overall numbers for a metro line and thereby help evade public hearing. However, in this case, the 11 trees were not counted due to their smaller girth,” a member of the committee, who participated in the meeting told DH.

The member said the BMRCL has translocated most of the unenumerated trees along with 132 others. The expert committee, however, noted that the translocated trees need better care.

Fate of 721 trees to be decided soon

The Tree Committee is set to decide the fate of 721 trees within the BBMP limits, which have been marked to make way for the eight projects by different agencies, including metro and road widening projects.

The Palike has sought to clear 131 trees for widening Sarjapura Road and another 131 in Yelahanka’s Ananthapura, 32 on Suranjandas Road and four trees on Jayamahal Road.

The BMRCL has sought to clear 49 trees, which will require a public hearing, at Benniganahalli Lake bund for the metro project. The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Energy and Development has sought to clear 238 Nilgiri trees.