KRDCL yet to apply for eco survey for elevated corridor

Mist is seen at airport elevated express way in Bengaluru on Sunday. Photo by S K Dinesh

It seems like the ambitious elevated corridor project will take more time to kick-start.

This is because the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) has not yet applied to the environment department, seeking permission to undertake the environmental impact study for the 96-km-long elevated corridor project.

“If all procedures are duly followed, then getting the environment clearance will take at least three to four months. This is because at least a month’s time needs to be given when obtaining public opinion for the project. It should ideally be completed by December. But looking at the current pace, it will take longer,” a senior environment department official told DH.

Only after the environmental impact study is done, it is tabled before the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board for clearance and then placed before the citizens to file objections. Then corrections are made. The file is then submitted to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority for clearance, the official said.

At a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on June 30, it was decided to start work on seeking environmental clearance immediately as the detailed feasibility report was ready. But KRDCL has not yet drafted the proposal to be submitted to the environment department.

“We are working on it. We are getting our papers in order. It will take another seven days before things are finalised to file an application before the environment department,” said KRDCL managing director M Ganesh.

According to the procedures, only after the application is submitted to the environment department, will the terms of reference be issued and only then can the environmental impact study start.

The terms of reference normally include seeking details of the trees to be axed, translocated and saved, compensatory afforestation details, heat islands, details of the accredited consultants conducting the survey and pollution impact. “Looking at the increasing vehicular pollution and poor tree cover in Bengaluru, we are particular that at least eight times of the trees axed are to be planted. Also, the places chosen for afforestation is crucial,” the environment official said.

Conducting an environmental impact study is essential as per the Environment Act Section 8A and B, as the existing built-up area will be covered with an elevated concrete road. It is also mandated by the National Green Tribunal.

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KRDCL yet to apply for eco survey for elevated corridor

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