BBMP firm on axing trees, says unhappy lot can file objections

70 trees to be cut, 45 translocated to widen Jayamahal Road

BBMP firm on axing trees, says unhappy lot can file objections

Officials in the Forest Cell of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), who are handling scores of emails and objections from people opposing the proposed axing of 112 trees for widening Jayamahal Road, have suggested that those who are unhappy with the move can register their complaints with tree officers.

BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forests and Head of the Tree Committee Appu Rao told DH that in a span of 10 days they had received around 30,000 emails from Bengalureans on the proposal to cut trees to widen the 2.8-km road.

“We are scrutinising the responses. But after a discussion with the BBMP commissioner, we (the BBMP officials) have decided that 70 trees have to be cut and 45 have to be translocated. There is no other choice as these trees are old and dangerous. If people are unhappy with the idea, they can approach the tree officers and file their objections,” he said.

According to rules under the amended Tree Act and the directions of the Karnataka High Court, the project will be scrutinised after studying suggestions received by the tree officers. The BBMP Forest Cell has two tree officers in assistant conservators of forests, east and west.

Rao said people should not use the forum to voice objections without offering practical working solutions. “It is difficult to scrutinise complaints of each and every individual. Thus, a collective solution either by a group of people or organisations will be better,” he said.  He said the engineering wing of the BBMP has been instructed to identify areas where trees can be translocated and the identification process is underway.

A recent survey on environmental and ecological impact of tree felling for the proposed steel flyover on Ballari Road and widening of Jayamahal Main Road as prepared by Vijay Nishant of Project Vruksha and Prof Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli from Azim Premji University stated that 245 trees would have to be axed for widening of the 2.8-km Jayamahal Road.

They categorically stated that axing of trees to widen the road was not a feasible solution as the area had many old and wide trees. The report also mentioned that Jayamahal Road was one of the oldest and a few remaining tree canopies in the city.

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