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NGOs object to tree felling for Bengaluru suburban rail project

The suburban rail can be started in the existing railway network, if proper signal automation and doubling of tracks are done, the organisations said in a press release.
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 21:52 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 21:52 IST

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Bengaluru: Over 2,000 citizens have raised objections to the planned felling of nearly 33,000 trees for the construction of the Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project (BSRP) by the Rail Infrastructure Development Company-Karnataka (K-RIDE).

In a letter to the Forest Department, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and K-RIDE, NGOs Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Jhatkaa.org stated: "While the project is a significant step towards reducing dependence on private vehicles and enhancing sustainable mobility, the sheer number of trees proposed to be felled will have adverse consequences on the city."

The suburban rail can be started in the existing railway network, if proper signal automation and doubling of tracks are done, the organisations said in a press release.

"The plan must incorporate a clear compensatory plantation strategy, including the species and locations where plantation will occur. At the moment, there is a lack of such a clear strategy for compensatory plantation, raising concerns about ecological equilibrium,” they said, adding that it is fundamental to ensure compliance with the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act, 1976.

Vinod Jacob of Namma Bengaluru Foundation said K-RIDE scheduled a public consultation meeting with the authorities on June 14, but did not fix a time.

"The project is a significant step towards reducing dependence on private vehicles and enhancing sustainable mobility and efficient commute alternatives,” he said. “While I do not oppose the project, I am deeply concerned about its ecological cost and believe that it must be minimised."

Chiku Agarwal, Senior Engagement and Operations Associate at Jhatkaa.org, said it is time to make wise, ecological decisions.

The 148.17-km BSRP comprises 58 stations across the city with several multi-modal transport hubs. It is to be completed by 2028.

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Published 10 June 2024, 21:52 IST

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