BMRCL gets forest patch for Green Line

It is needed for construction of five piers of the viaduct on the Kanakapura route

July 26, 2019 01:40 am | Updated 01:40 am IST

 Karnataka : Bengaluru : 25/09/2017 .  A view of Kanakapura road near Roerich and Devikarani Roerich estate in Bengaluru .   Photo: Bhagya Prakash K

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 25/09/2017 . A view of Kanakapura road near Roerich and Devikarani Roerich estate in Bengaluru . Photo: Bhagya Prakash K

A 1.75-acre forest patch, which is reportedly needed for the Kanakapura Road metro line extension, has finally been approved for handing over to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.

The Regional Empowered Committee (REC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests recently accorded approval for the diversion of U.M. Kaval Reserve forest land for construction of five piers of the viaduct.

In its note to the REC, BMRCL has said that the land required is “urgent” as construction of the metro line along Kanakapura Road had been completed but without these five piers, it is “not possible to operationalise the metro line.”

A BMRCL official said, “Once the land is handed over, we can adhere to the August 2020 deadline.”

The REC has asked BMRCL to re-apply for diversion of land needed for construction of viaducts for a depot that will come up at a cost of ₹90 crore on 5.3 acres of private land near NICE Road. For the approach line from the Kanakapura metro line towards the depot, two transmission lines and five towers will need to be relocated. This requires additional land from U.M. Kaval forest.

The acquisition of the forest land follows a long-drawn process for the BMRCL, which had initially looked to set up the nearly 6-acre depot, which will provide a stabling facility for their Phase II extension from Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura, entirely within U.M. Kaval Reserve Forest.

Citizens and the Forest Department had objected as the forest is a key link for elephant movement from Bannerghatta to Manchanabele and Savandurga. Eventually, BMRCL decided to build the depot on private land while forest land will be acquired only for the approach to the depot. The Forest Department has said that this land does not come in the way of elephant movement.

“We have asked Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) to apply for forest diversion. It is only on commissioning the depot can we depute additional metro coaches on the Green Line and reduce the load on Peenya depot,” said the BMRCL officer. Meanwhile, REC also approved the diversion of nearly 4.5 acres of U.M. Kaval forest land for widening of Kanakapura Road to four lanes.

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