279 trees to pave way for Metro

While only 2,126 sq mtrs of Cubbon Park land will be acquired by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for locating the ventilation shaft and entrance/exit of the station on the underground stretch, a substantial green cover (199 trees at Vidhana Soudha and 80 trees at Central College) will have to make way for construction activity now.

Concern

Environmentalist Dr Yellappa Reddy, who recently resigned as chairman of the BMRCL appointed committee on environment said, “I am sure the court is aware of the consequences and risks involved to the environment, while giving the go-ahead. The underground station, once operational will have a high population density. Have they factored in terror threats? The Metro is required, but at what cost?”

Countering the BMRCL’s claim that green cover will be restored after the completion of the project, Dr Reddy said it is not possible. “Eco-restoration is not possible. It will take hundreds of years. Trees cannot grow in a day. I am sad to say that future generations will pay a price for no fault of theirs,” warned the former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer.

He also rued that his suggestion of diverting the Metro alignment away from the Vidhana Soudha, High Court and Central College by taking it through the vast Race Course land has been ignored. “Allowing BMRCL to go ahead with the work is not a wise one. The entire beauty of Ambedkar Veedhi will be marred. We need to protect our heritage buildings” added Dr Reddy.

Hearing adjourned

The High Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a PIL related to church attacks that occurred last year and advised the setting up of peace committees for resolving issues rather than seeking legal recourse.

Expressing confidence in the state machinery for maintaining peace, the Court also cautioned the petitioners against terming these incidents as state-sponsored terrorism.
Advocate General Ashok Haranahalli told the court that an inquiry commission had already been set up to look into the issues concerned, and that the fresh cases referred to by the petitioners had nothing to do with those mentioned in the PIL.

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