Park sacrificed for metro project

Park sacrificed for metro project

Many trees hacked, no sign of greenery

Gone green: Metro work at the Marenahalli Park in Jayanagar. DH Photo/Janardhan b k

The BBMP transforms a barren land into a beautiful park and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited strips it bare to build the metro line.

This is the tragic story of the Marenahalli park located in Jayanagar 9th block. Once a deserted land where youngsters played in the evening, the BBMP made a park that became a crucial lung space for local residents.

The park had the statue of Kannada poet Akkamahadevi and was therefore called ‘Akkamahadevi Park’. Developing the empty area began in 2004 and as the park came up, locals converged for morning and evening strolls.

“We had even built a separate Tree Park which had hundreds of trees and housed many birds. We had provided good pathways for walkers and also benches for rest,” recalls former Pattabhi Ram Nagar ward corporator CK Ramamurthy who was involved in developing the park. “We spent nearly Rs 70 lakh to build the park,” he added.

But as the work to build the metro line between RV Road and Bommasandra in the phase 2 project, the park was completely ripped apart. Passersby could never imagine a park standing in the place not too long ago.

A number of trees have also been felled. “We approved the felling of 12 trees,” said a senior BBMP forest official. Ramamurthy said several of the trees were transplanted within the ward.

Tree activists are dismayed by the government’s approach. “They should’ve held a public consultation before felling the trees or removing the green cover,” Vijay Nishant, an activist, said. “They’ve cut away several trees for this project and couldn’t save any of them. This’s disheartening.”

DT Devare from Bangalore Environment Trust said transplantation of the trees should have been the default mode of action before felling them.

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