White-topping a threat to Indiranagar trees

Representative image

All major civic projects in Bengaluru would come at the cost of trees. Surely, looks like this is the new normal now.

Forget rain fury, white-topping is felling trees in the city.

For instance, preparations for white-topping the 80 Feet Road in Indiranagar, frequented by thousands of commuters, has resulted in tree falls already.

The BBMP is digging the road, creating pathways for utilities. They have allegedly damaged the roots of some trees, while digging for drainage work.

“Roots of trees are damaged. They are slanting to balance themselves. As per the design, these trees will be sandwiched between two concrete utility pathways. The future of these trees looks bleak unless the design is changed to accommodate the existing trees,” said Poornima Kannan of I Change Indiranagar.

Likewise, according to a report — The Environmental Impact of the TenderSURE Project — a study by R Sheshadri and Jahnavi G Pai, trees cannot survive in the TenderSURE design. “The biggest risk posed by TenderSURE is a treeless future for Bengaluru streets,” the report said.

Another member of I Change Indiranagar, Swarna Venkataraman, said BBMP officials inspected the work a few days ago. “Rainfall is already felling hundreds of trees. Indiranagar has lost half a dozen trees in the past one month. If such is the situation of trees with half-damaged roots, then obviously more tree falls and accidents are expected,” she said.

No danger, says BBMP

K T Nagaraj, BBMP chief engineer for Project Central, said he had inspected the work a few days ago, and denied that trees are in danger.

“If a tree falls, let them ask me. No tree is harmed or is in danger of any sort,” he said.

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