Suranjan Das Rd underpass: HC nod to axe last 10 trees

Suranjan Das Road underpass: HC nod to axe last 10 trees

Credit: DH File Photo/BH Shivakumar

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday said the BBMP can go ahead and complete the underpass at Suranjan Das Road.

A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said that though there is a loss to the environment owing to the removal of the last 10 trees for the project, it is aimed at the development of the city.

The underpass is part of the signal-free corridor from Command Hospital to Hope Farm. 

In the previous hearing, the court had directed the tree expert committee to take a fresh look into the permission granted to the BBMP to fell trees for the construction.

The civic agency submitted that the permission was already granted by the committee and only 10 more trees will have to be felled for the project.

"The report of tree expert committee is of the opinion that the felling of the remaining 10 trees is inevitable. It is true that great loss to the environment is caused, but we have to keep in mind the development of Bengaluru city and consider other factors like traffic congestion, road accidents and hospitals located in the area," the bench said.

The bench disposed of the petition and directed the authorities to plant compensatory trees as provided under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act. The bench directed the BBMP to file a compliance report to the registrar general of the court.

The PIL, filed by Swathi Damodar, had challenged the official memorandum issued, permitting the felling of 25 trees and translocation of seven others.

It was informed to the court that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and BBMP had entered into a Memoranda of Understanding and HAL has given its land free of cost for the purpose of the signal-free corridor.

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