Green see red over steel flyover, to hold protest on Oct 16

Green see red over steel flyover, to hold protest on Oct 16

Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2016-10-13 16:16 Bengaluru: Greens in the city are up in arms over the steel flyover project which will result in axing of more than 800 trees.With the HC refusing to provide a stay on the project, greens and citizen groups have decided to hit the streets on Oct 16 by forming a human chain along Ballari Road from Basaveshwara Circle.Over 40 species of trees, which have a girth of 300 cms and height of 20 metres, are to be axed for the project.Trees cannot be transplantedVijay Nishanth, a tree activist, termed the project extremely “controversial” as over 800 trees were going to be chopped. “None of the officials informed us about this although it got a nod from the state government in 2014,” said Nishanth. “Way back in 2010, Justice DV Shylendra Kumar filed a PIL when the government wanted to chop 1223 trees to widen the road from Cantonment to Mekhri Circle. A suo moto case was filed and the project was stalled.”The activists also ruled out the option of transplanting trees. “Tree transplanting is not a viable option as most of the trees have crossed the medium phase and reached heritage status. Out of the 800 trees, only about 50 will survive if they are transplanted,” he said. Government firm on projectA source close to Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George said the project would ease traffic flow. “The CM announced this in 2014 budget. Opinions and objections were called by the government. However, the government has decided to go ahead with this project,” said the source, adding that the government had directed the forest department to plant 60,000 trees all over the city to compensate for the loss.The source also said the opposition was trying to scuttle the project as it was worried over the good name the project would bring to the government.Dipika Bajpai, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Bengaluru Urban, said she hasn’t received any proposal for tree cutting. “I will check the feasibility and also ensure road widening is done by leaving at least a two-metre space to plant tree saplings,” she said. “We have schemes like Greening of Urban Areas, where a compensation of Rs1, 911 should be deposited per tree by the agency that takes-up development project. The forest department will plant and maintain a sapling for five years. Last year, an area of 75 hectares was planted with tree saplings.”