Environmentalist writes to CM over elevated corridor

Environmentalist writes to CM over elevated corridor

Noted environmentalist and chairman of the Bangalore Environmental Trust (BET), A N Yellappa Reddy, on Monday wrote to the Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy expressing concern over the proposed 102.04 km elevated corridor.

In the letter, Reddy pointed out that the project will result in the axing of 3,000-5,000 trees aged between 30-50 years. “These trees have been providing unique life support systems, despite the urban torture and relentless onslaught by various agencies like Bescom, BWSSB, BSNL, BMRCL, NHAI and other government, quasi-government and private entities,” he said.

Elaborating on the role of trees in trapping highly toxic suspended particulate matter and other harmful aerosols, Reddy said hasty steps towards the construction of the elevated corridor in January 2019, without assessing the road's carrying capacity, will have an acute environmental impact.

The letter also included a copy of a publication in this regard, brought out by BET, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, IISc and Lakeside Education Trust. Suspended particulate matter with a diameter between 2.5 to 10 μm are extremely toxic to the lungs, especially of children, says the publication.

The letter also draws attention to the increase in sale of steroid-based inhalers by 100 times within a short period of two years, now widely administered to children. This can lead to permanent impairment of lung functions.

Around 60% of the city's population are pedestrians and non-automobile users. This includes school-going children, elderly women and itinerants. Despite all this, road-centric and automobile-centric growth projects are being liberally encouraged by the government, Yellappa Reddy said.