The Karnataka High Court has directed the State government to constitute a committee consisting of experts from the field of environment, science and technology to examine whether the trees proposed to felled for metro rail projects could be saved.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice L. Narayana Swamy and Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar passed the interim order on a PIL petition filed by Dattatraya T. Devare and Bangalore Environment Trust.
After exhausting all methods, if it is found that it is impossible to save any tree, only then it shall be permissible to cut the trees, and it is expected of the expert committee to give its considered opinion to save the trees, the bench said.
The petition, filed in 2018, had complained that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) did not conduct a consultation process before felling trees. The petitioners sought a direction to the authorities concerned to carry out their duties in letter and spirit of the Karnataka Preservation of Tree Act, 1976 and Karnataka Preservation of Trees Rules, 1977. The State and its authorities have failed to enforce provisions of the Act, the petitioners alleged.
It was pointed out in the petition that the BMRCL will be cutting around 250 more trees between Bannerghatta Road and Nagavara stretch of metro rail, and an additional 100 trees between Hosur Road and Vellara Junction.