'ST Ring Road will not pass through Bannerghetta park'

Bannerghatta National Park (BNP)

The proposed Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) will not be traversing through the pristine forests of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), D K Suresh, Member of Parliament, said on Wednesday.

“The STRR will be constructed, but it will not pass through the forest. It will come up on the existing road. Forest land will not be cleared. In fact, while constructing the STRR, the existing elephant corridor will be strengthened,” said the Bengaluru Rural MP, addressing the media.

Suresh was speaking on the sidelines, while inaugurating a series of animal enclosures at the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP), along with the minister for forests, Satish Jarkiholi.

“For the first time in India, we will be creating and strengthening the 14-km elephant corridor, from the BNP to Tamil Nadu. Work on land acquisition is on. Meetings are being held, and it will also be discussed at the state wildlife board meeting,” the MP said.

“If the minister has said the STRR will not pass through the BNP, it will be so. At the last STRR meeting held with the central government officials last year, we suggested that when the road has to connect to Ramanagara, why not have the STRR alongside the NICE Road. Seems like the minister has agreed to the idea. It seems likely as the STRR is proposed on the buffer zone, now it is stuck because of the eco-sensitive zone clearance,” a forest official added.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials, meanwhile, explained that a detailed project report for the STRR was being prepared, proposing a 6-km long elevated corridor passing over the BNP. However, the plan seems a far-fetched exercise, as it needs clearances from environment, forest and wildlife boards.

Officials from the Bangalore Metropolitan Development Authority (BMRDA) are of the view that the re-alignment of the project was yet to be done.

Enclosures inaugurated

A jackal enclosure worth Rs 45.69 lakh was inaugurated. Foundation stones for special enclosures for the Indian fox, the Gharial, the Marsh Crocodile and the Dhole were laid. The newly constructed entrance, and models of butterflies at the butterfly park were also inaugurated, along with battery-operated vehicles and an AC safari bus.

Also on the occasion, Zoo Educational Excursion Programme for Schools (ZEEPS) was unveiled. This is a special curated programme for school children, where schools can pre-book safaris and trips around the zoo. Children will be given certificates after attending the programme. A trained guide will help educate the children about the zoo as well.

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'ST Ring Road will not pass through Bannerghetta park'

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