No space for greenery on footpaths of TenderSURE roads

Will lead to hotter weather, more pollution, say citizens and greens

No space for greenery on footpaths of TenderSURE roads

The TenderSURE (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) project, under which some major roads in the City are being upgraded to international standard, has now drawn more criticism.

This time from citizens and environmentalists who are concerned at the loss of trees on footpaths. They say less greenery will increase temperature and pollution.

Roads listed for footpath improvement under TenderSURE are Cunningham Road, parts of Vittal Mallya Road, St Mark’s Road, Church Street, KH Road, Commercial Street, Raj Bhavan Road, JC Road, Modi Hospital Road, Siddaiah Puranik Road, KG Road, Nrupathunga Road and Jayanagar 11th Main. At present, work is going on Cunningham Road, parts of Vittal Mallya Road and St Mark’s Road.

Hasiru Usiru, an environmental NGO, has criticised the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for reducing the green cover. “The BBMP has no space for trees on these footpaths. While it promised not to remove existing trees from the footpaths, it is not maintaining them at all. Wherever roads are being upgraded, it has been noticed that tree roots and branches are being cut haphazardly. This will make the trees weak and they will eventually fall,” said Vinay Sreenivasa, a volunteer of the NGO.

According to noted environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy, ideally the BBMP should have left aside 12-15 inches around the trees so that rain water will percolate and help them.

“Trees are meant for footpaths. They not only give shade but also keep the temperature in check. Vehicular population as well as pollution is increasing in the City. The fewer trees we have will absorb unburnt carbon and oils which are harmful to humans. In the absence of these trees, the City’s weather will worsen and pollution will increase. The BBMP should understand this.”

Soumya M, a resident of Ali Askar Road which is perpendicular to Cunningham Road, is agitated. “In the guise of TenderSURE, the BBMP is worsening the condition of the City’s roads. Footpaths should have some greenery to de-stress the pedestrians. This is lacking in the Garden City,”she remarked.

But BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana argues that trees are meant only for parks and gardens. “The world over, there are no trees on footpaths. In Bengaluru, there are some trees on footpaths and we are planting saplings but it’s not an intensive exercise. Intensive plantation is being take up in parks and open spaces.”

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