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Karnataka HC permits felling of 577 trees for Nagawara-Gottigere metro

BMRCL submitted that the metro rail implementing agency is incurring huge losses for want of clearance in cutting of trees
Last Updated : 23 December 2021, 20:44 IST
Last Updated : 23 December 2021, 20:44 IST
Last Updated : 23 December 2021, 20:44 IST
Last Updated : 23 December 2021, 20:44 IST

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The Karnataka High Court on Thursday permitted the BMRCL to cut 577 trees along the Nagawara-Gottigere alignment.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum passed the order in terms of the office memorandum submitted by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited dated November 26, 2021 based on a report by the Tree Expert Committee (TEC).

Representing BMRCL, senior counsel Uday Holla submitted that the metro rail implementing agency is incurring huge losses for want of clearance in cutting of trees. He said the agency is incurring a Rs 2-crore loss/cost escalation daily.

The court was informed that as per the November 18 expert committee report, of 833 trees examined, 44 were recommended to be retained and 212 for translocation.

The counsel for the petitioner argued that as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of November 2019, the total number of trees proposed to be cut was only 1,218. However, in the three official memoranda issued subsequently, the number of trees affected was increased to 2,115.

“We are of the considered view that the report of the expert committee constituted by the orders of this court shall be accepted simply because there is some variation in the number of trees mentioned in the DPR and the report does not mean that the TEC has not properly carried out the work as per the process elucidated in the court’s December 9, 2020 order.

“There can be a variation in the number of trees in the preparation of the DPR, which was initially done in 2016, and the number of trees examined/observed by the TEC while carrying out the work after the issuance of MoP dated December 9, 2020,” the bench said.

The petitioners have been asked to file objections on two other office memoranda in respect of felling of trees. The PIL was filed by the Bangalore Environment Trust and one Dattatraya T Devare, an environmentalist. The petitioners have sought for constituting a committee to ensure that the tree officers and the tree authority carry out their duties in accordance with the provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976, and the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Rules, 1977.

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Published 23 December 2021, 19:47 IST

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