Hubli-Dharwad BRTS action committee to stage protest on June 5

The Hubli-Dharwad BRTS Environment Action Committee has announced that it will launch the ‘Mission 4000 Trees’ campaign to exert pressure on the authorities to address environmental issues, while implementing the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) project.

Speaking to presspersons here on Monday, committee members such as R.S. Patilkulkarni and M.D. Patil said the committee would stage a protest outside the BRTS company office at Rayapur here on World Environment Day on June 5.

Seven organisations

The committee consists of seven organisations: Eco Watch, Rashtrotthan Sankalp Trust, Jana Sangram Parishat, Consumer’s Protection and Research Foundation, Satya Shodhana Samiti, Dharwad School Parents’ Association and Bharat Swabhiman Trust.

H-D BRTS Company, which is the implementing agency, had neglected environmental issues. This was a matter of grave concern, they said.

Nearly 1,800 trees, including some that were more than 100 years old, had been brought down to widen the road between Hubli and Dharwad to facilitate the BRTS project. But the company’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) did not even mention these trees, they alleged.

The city would face an ecological crisis if environmental issues were not tackled in the initial stages, they said.

‘Green belt needed’

For projects such as the BRTS, provisions should be made to develop a green belt of a minimum of 35 metres. But that much space was not available for the BRTS project as private buildings abutted both sides of the road. Repeated queries in this regard were met with no response, they alleged.

They said the BRTS was a first-of-its-kind project in the State and it should be implemented in a transparent manner, taking the public into confidence.

They demanded that the master plan be made public and the details be displayed in public places.

They added that information pertaining to funding, time limit for the completion of the project, provisions made for planting saplings along the project area and about the management of the Rayapur and Bhairidevarakoppa natural water tanks should also be made public.

More In: Karnataka | National