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Over 20,000 trees in Karnataka to be axed for Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway

The land acquisition for the road will affect nearly 30,000 people
Last Updated : 09 November 2020, 01:20 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2020, 01:20 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2020, 01:20 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2020, 01:20 IST

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As many as 20,748 trees in Karnataka limits will have to make way for the proposed Bengaluru-Chennai eight-lane Expressway under Phase 1 (71 km) of the project, which extends to the Tamil Nadu border.

The land acquisition for the road will affect nearly 30,000 people.

The expressway, whose total length is 330 km, will be constructed in three phases. The first phase starts from the edge of Bengaluru and ends near Bethamangala near Mulbagal.

The biggest loser of greenery is the dry regions of Kolar where 16,049 (85%) of the trees are located in the ‘right of way’ (ROW) of the road. These include 9,805 horticultural trees. Bengaluru Rural district will lose 4,699 trees, of which 2,837 are horticultural.

While the felling of eucalyptus — seen as Kolar’s curse — won’t make much impact, the loss of mango, coconut, teak, guava, neem, tamarind and other trees is likely to change the landscape, not to mention the livelihood of farmers.

The alignment of Phase I passes through areas under the limits of 72 villages. A total of 5,611 families comprising 28,055 members will be affected due to the acquisition of 1,890 acres of land. The road itself will directly affect 1,720 people in 344 households, who need to be rehabilitated.

The National Highway Authority of India had sought clearance for the project from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in 2018. Following the suggestion of an expert committee, the officials have sent a detailed report on environment impact assessment.

Industries excited

The expressway will also build a spur route to KGF at a time when there is demand from locals to restart the gold mine and re-energise the existing industries. Tenders for the project were called last week — a move welcomed by industrialists in both states.

The demand for an expressway was made much before the government came up with a structured plan for the Chennai-Bengaluru economic corridor.

Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII)’s Karnataka Chapter, Sandeep Singh, who is the managing director of Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd, said the expressway will give a shot in the arm for development activities in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

“Besides the inter-industry activity on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu belt, it will also provide industries here the best connectivity to the ports in the neighbouring state. This is a long-pending demand and we are all very excited the project is finally taking off,” he said.

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Published 08 November 2020, 19:38 IST

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