Okalipuram corridor project takes off, but tree felling faces flak

The much-awaited Okalipuram eight-lane corridor project has been kickstarted with the Forest department taking the first steps of clearing the trees along the stretch.

According to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the signal-free corridor project will have loops, underpass and road underbridges between Okalipuram Junction and Fountain Circle.

“For project execution, it is important to clear the trees on the stretch. We are also widening the road. Though the project was inaugurated more than two years ago, it got delayed due to land acquisition issues,” said a Palike officer.

The BBMP will execute the project at a total cost of Rs 115.5 crore with funds from the State government, said the officer.

Three trees were felled by the Forest department near the railway station, at Okalipuram, on Sunday. An officer of the Forest department said there was pressure from higher authorities, including Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, to fast-track the project. 

The officer said, “A total of 41 trees will be cleared for the implementation of the project. The government has given the permission for felling the trees. It will take two to three months to complete the tree-felling process. We will clear eight trees on an urgent basis so that flyover work can start”.

Vijay, a resident of Binnypet, said, “The trees that were cut appeared to be more than 30 years old and were providing a canopy over the entire width of Old Mysore Road, besides absorbing emissions of carbon dioxide from the huge number of vehicles plying around the City Railway Station. Is there any end to this madness of depleting greenery in the name of road widening”.

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