'2,244 trees to be axed for flyover, road widening'

As many as 2,244 trees will be felled for the steel flyover from Basavaeshwara Circle to Hebbal flyover and for widening of the road from Mehkri Circle to Cantonment railway station.

The report on the environmental impact of the two projects was released on Monday. It has been prepared by Prof Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli from Azim Premji University and Vijay Nishant, co-founder of Project Vruksha.

The state government had initially stated that 1,668 trees will be axed for both the projects, of which 812 trees were for the 6.7-km steel flyover and 856 trees were to be axed for widening the 2.8-km stretch on Jayamahal main road.

Harini told DH that the government estimates are lower than what is on the ground. “We did not include trees which are inside campuses. But trees which were listed by the Golf Club have been included. We have not included the trees inside the Palace Grounds,” she said.

Increase in pollution

Environmentalists pointed out that the project will lead to an increase in pollution, have exacerbating urban heat island effects, impacts biodiversity, reduce the capacity of Bengaluru’s trees for carbon sequestration, impact two lakes (Hebbal and the lake inside Palace Grounds) and buffer zones. The projects will also impact the endangered slender loris.

The report has divided the steel flyover into three sections and has listed the number of trees to be cut for each section. Section 1 has 757 trees, Section 2 has 600 trees and 892 trees will be cut under Section 3.

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