A rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted for the proposed flyover on Sankey Road has revealed that 55 trees of 23 species and 14 families will be cut on the stretch for the project.
The EIA report has been prepared by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli from Azim Premji University and Vijay Nishanth from Vruksha Foundation amid opposition to the proposed flyover by activists and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) going ahead with the plan.
The report presents findings of a rapid EIA conducted to determine the number of trees that will be cut or impacted, and other ecosystems affected, as a result of the proposed flyover on Sankey Road.
“According to our census, 55 trees of 23 species and 14 families will be cut in the 600-m stretch where the flyover is being constructed. This includes notable specimens such as a raintree with a girth of 500 cm, a mango tree of 450 cm girth and a tamarind tree of 422 cm girth. There are also 16 flowering trees and 23 fruiting trees that will be cut,” states the report.
It adds that another 400 saplings and trees of paper mulberry growing on the tank bund would be cut; these are not accounted in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) as being marked for cutting.
“In addition, we found that there are 27 trees of 11 species from eight families that are likely to be impacted, among which are six ficus. Ficus are keystone species providing a range of ecological benefits, and serve as a habitat for biodiversity, ranging from small mammals to birds to insects,” the report adds.
Apart from the fauna, there are 88 species of birds sighted at the tank, including the spot-billed pelican, categorised as “near-threatened” in the IUCN Red List.
The report further states that the tree felling will have multiple environmental impacts that are irreversible.
Ecosystem of Sankey Tank
Ms. Nagendra said the rapid EIA had been prepared in line with the Supreme Court’s judgment that an assessment must be done before allowing urban development projects.
“This is an independent EIA done by us following the recent Supreme Court’s judgment. We cannot as a city afford to lose any more greenery to infrastructure projects; climate change is around us and we are seeing the effects of flooding in Bengaluru which happened in November last year. We are losing green cover, we are losing wetlands and pieces of nature and we cannot live like this because the city is going to collapse,” Ms. Nagendra said.