The authorities have received around 500 objections and suggestions from citizens over the loss of nearly 4,000 trees along the alignment of the ORR-Airport Namma Metro project that will link Kempegowda International Airport to the city centre.
Under Phase II a and b of Namma Metro, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has proposed to build a 55-km network. Public notices have been issued in batches for removal of trees from the alignment that starts from Silk Board and goes via K.R. Puram, Nagawara, Hebbal to the airport.
Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) Govindaraju V. told The Hindu that most of the responses were general objections, pleas to realign the metro project to save trees, and suggestions for afforestation. “Since May 2021, we have issued public notices and for each notice, around 100-120 objections or suggestions were received. We have replied to them after seeking necessary information from the BMRCL,” said Mr. Govindaraju, adding that most of the people had suggested ways to save the trees by way of translocation and or through alignment changes.
“In addition to this, there are people who also asked BMRCL to complete the metro project at the earliest and reduce traffic congestion in the city,” the official said.
A tree officer has submitted a report to the tree committee.
“After conducting a field inspection, experts in the committee will come out with further instructions on the issue,” he added. “The forest cell of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike issues public notices for the removal of identified trees located on the median as well as along the side of the road. For rest including private properties, public notices are issued by the DCF of Bengaluru Urban district.”
Many experts and environmentalists have raised concerns over the adverse impact. “The BMRCL has been very rigid when it comes to metro alignment. Small changes in the alignment would save many trees. Through tree canopy manipulation, many trees could be saved along the corridor. Unfortunately, BMRCL sees everything from an engineering point of view,” said environment expert A.N. Yellappa Reddy.