UAS to restore its campus ravaged by road-link work

UAS to restore its campus ravaged by road-link work

With the State government shelving the BBMP’s controversial project to provide a road link through the heart of University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore (UAS-B) campus, the University has constituted an expert committee to chalk out plans to restore the portion of its campus that was destroyed while executing the road work.

Well-placed sources in the university confirmed to Deccan Herald that as many as 1,167 trees of 30 to 35 different species such as mango, jamun, tamarind and sapota have been felled during the course of the BBMP works. Major experiments in germplasm (collection of genetic resources like seed or other material from which plants are propagated) have been affected due to the felling of trees.

A number of research works by students and faculty have also been hit, sources said. Besides being populated with many species of birds and plants, the UAS-B campus is also home to some of the major academic and research agencies such as Bharathiya Krishi Anusandhan Parishat, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology who regularly conduct research on the campus.

“Although a repairable loss, there is no doubt that it is going to take some time before we restore the area to its former status,” said Narayana Gowda, vice chancellor, UAS-B. Asked about the restoration plans, Prof Gowda said that though it will not be easy to restore all the varieties and species that have been lost, all attempts are being made to restore them.
     
Court orders

In September 2009, the BBMP occupied 24 acres of the campus and began work on a four-km road link from the Yeshwantpur-Yelahanka Expressway to Bellary Road (NH 7) through the campus despite stiff opposition from the faculty and environmentalists.

Following a public interest litigation filed by seven former vice chancellors of the University in the High Court, the court directed the formation of an expert committee to conduct an inquiry. Another High Court order of 2011 asked the State government to look into the matter. On March 30, 2013, the committee headed by Chief Secretary S V Ranganath ordered shelving of the project. It also ordered that land be returned the University.

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