MCC to axe 367 trees near lake

MCC to axe 367 trees near lake

Environmentalists allege that alternate routes have not been explored

MCC to axe 367 trees near lake

The project taken up by the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) to divert sewage from the Kukkarahalli lake has come under a scanner, as 367 trees will be felled to install a new underground drainage line.

The project has already been given a go ahead, but environmentalists feel that the MCC did not explore enough alternative options, which could have saved the trees.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, environmentalist Vasanthkumar Mysoremath said, their opposition for felling such a large number of trees were aired by greens during a public consultation regarding the project, recently.

One of the options was to set up a sewage treatment plant (STP) using modern technology on the vacant land near Valmiki Road.

“The project, however, was opposed, three years ago, by residents of Paduvarahalli, who feared that bad smell would emanate if a STP was set up there,” he said. However, modern technology could have been used to prevent the smell. The treated water could have been pumped into the lake, helping it to rejuvenate, he added.

Another option was to install an underground drainage (UGD) line over the lake, which could have saved the trees. Moreover, when heavy machinery goes inside the lake premises to install the UGD line, other trees will also get damaged, he said.
“Development by destroying nature is not progress. Besides, the area surrounding the lake provides shelter to more than 100 species of birds,” he added.


It can be recalled that the project was sanctioned recently, following repeated demands by environmentalists to check the flow of sewage into Kukkarahalli lake. Two projects, to divert sewage from Kukkarahalli and Karanji lake, are under progress at a cost of Rs 5.03 crore.

While sewage flowing into Kukkarahalli lake will be diverted to Rayanakere STP, in case of Karanji lake it will be diverted to the treatment plant at Vidyaranyapuram, said Rajgopal S S, Executive Engineer, MCC. The cost of the project for Kukkarahalli lake is Rs 2 crore, while the cost for Karanji lake is Rs 3.03 crore.

MCC authorities said, no trees will be felled while laying the UGD line to divert sewage from the Karanji lake.

Kukkarahalli lake

Puttaseshagiri, Assistant Executive Engineer, commenting on the felling of trees, said, most of the trees that are expected to be felled are less than two inches in diameter.
“There are about 60 trees, which have a diameter of more than a feet. We have urged the Horticulture department of the University of Mysore to plant saplings where trees will be felled,” he said.

Alternative routes

K M Jayaramaiah, convenor of Kukkarahalli Lake Protection Committee, said, since the topography did not allow sufficient pressure for flow on the UGD line to reach Rayanakere STP, this route was finalised, he said.

He added that the University of Mysore has planted 350 saplings recently and would plant more trees around the lake in the future.

He said, some valuable trees, such as teak, tamarind and others will be re-transplanted. We will ensure that some of the small trees, which will be uprooted during the works, too will be re-transplanted immediately, he added.