41 trees face axe to facilitate BBMP project

41 trees face axe to facilitate BBMP project

As many as 41 trees located in the City centre, between the Okalipuram area and Fountain Circle near Majestic, will face the axe soon as part of the ongoing eight-lane corridor project undertaken by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

This means the green canopy at Okalipuram will soon be a thing of the past. The project aims to ensure seamless connectivity for vehicles coming from West Bangalore, namely from areas Rajajinagar, Malleswaram, Vijayanagar and Basaveshwarnagar towards Majestic.

In a public notice issued on Tuesday, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah said the project was the need of the hour as vehicle users were witnessing nightmares round the clock due to traffic jams.

Two railway lines extending from City Railway Station also pass perpendicular to the existing road now and the space below the railway bridge is very narrow. Once the project is commissioned, it would be a signal-free corridor with wider space for vehicles along the stretch.  To facilitate the project implementation 41 trees will be cut in the due course of time, the notice said.

Officials at BBMP, however, said felling of the trees will be in a phased manner and could begin in two weeks’ time. In the meanwhile, the public can also raise objections.

Even though the eight-lane corridor project was conceived more than five years ago, it was only in December 2012 when the foundation stone was laid for the project by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

The project, with an estimated cost of Rs 183 crore, will have road underbridges, loops and an underpass to decongest the narrow roads between Okalipuram Junction and Fountain Circle (called as Vatal Nagaraj Road). The stretch is presently witnessing more than 14,000 passenger car units per hour during the peak hours.

Environmentalist Prabhakar Reddy said the Palike should first go for a bio-mass analysis of existing trees on the stretch before venturing towards felling the trees.

There are a good number of rain trees and mahagony trees here. It won’t be a good idea to rush towards tree-cutting without doing a cost benefit analysis, he added.
Madhu K, a member of Hasiru Usiru said the area surrounding Majestic has been losing green sheen for one or the other infrastructure project. Seshadri Road and Race Course Road are a few examples.

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