585 full-grown trees will be felled for widening NH 209

585 full-grown trees will be felled for widening NH 209

At least 585 trees will be felled in the city to pave way for the widening of the National Highway-209, from Bengaluru to Dindigul in Tamil Nadu via Kanakapura, to four lanes.

The National Highways Authority of India has obtained approval from the Forest department for felling of trees on either side of the highway, which starts from Dewan Madhav Rau Road in Basavanagudi.

Deepika Bajpai, deputy conservator of forests, said, "The NHAI authorities had sought approval for felling of trees for road widening six months ago. We have now given an approval and the auction process for the same will be held November 3," said Bajpai.

"The Forest department has given permission to fell 435 trees between Bolare Gate and NICE Road and 150 trees from Nice Road to Roerich Estate. However, we have not issued permission to axe 200 trees belonging to Forest department near Roerich Estate," she said.

An environmentalist, on the condition of anonymity, told Deccan Herald, "There are many full-grown trees belonging to various species, including neem, Pongamia, tamarind, banyan, peepal, jamoon among others, on the stretch. The NHAI authorities should translocate the trees instead of axing them."

He added that already 190 trees have been felled in the area for Metro works.

The two-lane road will be widened to 10 metres from the existing 5 meters. The government has acquired 358 hectares of land for the same and distributed a compensation of Rs 160 crore to those who parted with lands. The highway will be converted into four lanes at a cost of Rs 700 crore.

The said highway will pass through Kanakapura and Chamarajanagar in the state before joining Tamil Nadu.

NHAI has set aside Rs 1.75 crore (Rs 1,911 per tree) to plant 9,200 trees on either side of the road from Nice Road to Bolare Gate, NHAI sources said.

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