Amidst opposition to proposal to cut 32,572 trees in Bengaluru for suburban rail, public consultation meet on June 14

More than half the trees to be cut are Eucalyptus and Acacia

Updated - May 16, 2024 04:59 pm IST

Published - May 16, 2024 04:58 pm IST - Bengaluru

Workers at a construction site of the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) - Corridor 2, at Lingarajpuram in Bengaluru in August 2023.

Workers at a construction site of the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) - Corridor 2, at Lingarajpuram in Bengaluru in August 2023. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K

Amidst intense opposition to cutting 32,572 trees for the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP), Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited (K-RIDE), which is implementing the project, has announced a public consultation meeting on June 14. 

On May 15, K-RIDE released the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the 149-km suburban railway project, which pegged the loss of tree cover at 32,572. This has already been met with opposition by citizens and green activists. 

The meeting on June 14 is related to the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment Study for the construction and operation of the BSRP. The environmental and social impact reports have been completed and are available on the company’s website. The public consultation meeting will be held at Anugraha Community Hall in M.G. Railway Colony. Further information can be found here.

An online petition opposing the cutting of trees started by Jhatkaa and Namma Bengaluru Foundation of BJP Rajya Sabha MP and Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar has gathered over 2,500 signatures. The petition demands minimising deforestation for BSRP. The petition demands minimising the number of trees to be cut, adhering to the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act, 1976, and transplanting as many trees as possible. 

More than half of trees to be cut are Eucalyptus and Acacia

K-RIDE officials claimed that of the total 32,572 trees to be cut for the project, 17,505 (mostly Eucalyptus and Acacia) will make way for Akkupete depot, which is in Devanahalli, beyond BBMP limits.

“Eucalyptus is not desirable due to known side-effects. Out of the remaining 15,067 trees, 1,071 trees are beyond BBMP limits, leaving 13,996 trees within BBMP limits. Till date, BBMP has permitted cutting 2,098 trees and transplantation of 178 trees. The civic body has already assigned the work of compensatory plantation of 22,760 trees in a 1:10 ratio, for which K-RIDE has deposited ₹8.07 crore in advance,” an official said.

As per details received from BBMP, so far 70% of trees have been planted at various places within city limits, and 59 trees have been translocated, and transplantation is also being executed, according to the official. 

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