Environmental clearance to project based on conditions

Environmental clearance to project based on conditions

The Silk Board Junction in Bengaluru choked with traffic. DH file Photo

One of the major objections against the elevated corridor project concerns the loss of precious green cover. It is true that the city is going to lose plenty of trees, but it is not all doom and gloom.

The environmental clearance for the corridor has been given on the condition that a minimum of one tree will be planted and maintained for every 80 square metres of land utilised.

The State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority-Karnataka (SEIAA-K), which gave the environmental clearance for the project on March 2, has listed out a series of conditions for executing the project. 

“A minimum of one tree for every 80 sqm of land should be planted and maintained. The existing trees will be counted for this purpose,” states the order, a copy of which is with DH.

It also states: “No tree cutting or transplantation should be carried out unless exigencies demand. Where absolutely necessary, tree transplantation shall be with prior permission from the concerned regulatory authority.”

The Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) had sought for environmental clearance for 102.04 kms in September 2018. Of this, the KRDCL on March 3 invited tenders for 22.12 kms under phase one.

According to the preliminary environmental assessment report (95549/2019), the KRDCL has stated the width of the elevated corridor will vary from 18 metres to 36 metres (two-six lane). The corporation also mentioned that 940 trees will be cut for phase-1 and 212 trees will be trimmed.

“The total area under construction has been estimated. But the area to be utilised under each phase is yet to be calculated and will be done only after the ground survey,” said a KRDCL official.

Vijaykumar Gogi, Member Secretary, SEIAA-K, said the conditions clearly state that the SEIAA-K reserved the right to stipulate additional conditions if found necessary.

The company should implement the conditions in a time-bound manner and clearance can be revoked if conditions are not met.