The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday allowed BMRCL to axe and translocate trees in Metro Phase 2B between Kasturinagar and Kempapura of the Outer Ring Road line.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi passed this order allowing the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) seeking permission for removal/translocation of trees.
The Office Memorandum (OM) filed along with the IA stated that a total of 1,334 trees will have to be removed and 160 trees can be translocated in the stretch while retaining another 26.
The additional government advocate and senior advocate representing the BMRCL submitted that a day’s delay in the project work adds a loss of Rs 2 crore to the company.
Meanwhile, the advocate representing the petitioner objected to the BBMP’s tree officer, who issued the OM, also remaining a part of the tree expert committee. But the tree officer had signed the expert committee report before issuing the OM, the counsel clarified.
Counsels representing BMRCL and the state government argued that the tree expert committee had members other than the tree officer and the OM is based on the committee’s unanimous decision.
On earlier occasions, the court had granted permission to fell/translocate trees based on the tree expert committee’s report, the bench said.
The court allowed the application and permitted the felling and translocation of trees as per the committee’s report.
It was hearing a PIL filed by the Bangalore Environment Trust and environmentalist Dattatraya T Devare seeking implementation of the provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976 and the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Rules, 1977.
Pursuant to the petition, the court had appointed the tree expert committee to carry out the survey of each and every tree identified for removal and suggest measures to either translocate or retain them.
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