Elevated Corridor: Jayamahal Road canopy to be history

Elevated Corridor: Jayamahal Road canopy to be history

The Jayamahal Road stretch from Mehkri Circle to the Cantonment station is one of Bengaluru’s greenest, tree-lined streets. But the North-South Elevated Corridor from Hebbal to Silk Board threatens to grey the entire stretch, affecting as many as 356 trees.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Report prepared for the elevated corridor project clearly acknowledges that the trees will either be pruned, felled or translocated.

A citizen volunteer’s photographic recce of the Jayamahal Road stretch last week had 
tellingly established that a majority of the trees are fully grown with a large, wide canopy.

Many of these trees were identified for translocation as part of a project to widen the 2.5-km-long Jayamahal Road stretch from Mehkri Circle to the Cantonment railway underpass. The Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had declared two years ago that the trees would be translocated to the Palace Grounds or the footpath of the same road.

The BBMP commissioner had, however, clarified that none of the trees on the median would be touched. But the elevated corridor stretch will offer no such relief. The median trees will have to go to accommodate the corridor piers.

The environmental impact report notes that where feasible, all possible efforts will be made to transplant the trees to a safer and pre-approved location. There is, however, a rider: “Transplanting depends on the general health, form and structure of the tree; size and quality of root system; size of trees, species and conservation status of a tree.”

The availability and suitability of a receptor site, the time for preparation and cost-effectiveness will also be critical factors, says the report submitted by the project executor, the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL).

Here’s how the loss of greenery has been proposed to be compensated: “(A) vertical garden shall be grown on the piers to enhance the aesthetic value and to address the vehicular pollution. Suitable ornamental plants shall be planted in medians of at grade roads all along the proposed alignment of elevated corridors,” the report says.

On Tuesday, DH had highlighted how the project would slice through 120 trees in Cubbon Park. This report triggered a public outcry on social media, with several citizens questioning the proposed destruction of Bengaluru’s iconic lung space. Several citizen groups have called for a protest against the corridor project on March 16.

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