Over 1,200 trees to be axed for suburban rail, doubling projects 

Under the Bengaluru suburban rail project, in the first phase, the KRIDE will implement the Corridor-2 project from Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavara

Published - April 03, 2023 09:32 pm IST - Bengaluru

The stretch in Kasturinagar where trees were cut in February for the suburban rail project.

The stretch in Kasturinagar where trees were cut in February for the suburban rail project. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited — KRIDE has received permission to axe more than 1,200 trees to execute the Bengaluru suburban rail project (BSRP) and rail doubling project.

Under BSRP, in the first phase, the KRIDE will implement the Corridor-2 project from Baiyappanahalli to Chikkabanavara. In February, the agency received permission to remove 1,234 trees coming in the way of the alignment between Baiyappanahalli and Lottegollahalli.

For the rest of the stretch till Chikkabanavara, now the order has been issued by the DCF, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), for removing 596 trees. The total length of corridor-2 is 25 km. 

In another order issued by the same authority for implementing the Yeshwanthpur – Channasandra rail doubling project, the agency has been given permission to fell 698 trees and translocate 38 trees.

290 trees were missing

The order states that initially, the KRIDE had identified 1,054 trees located between Lottegollahalli and Chikkabanavara. These trees come under the jurisdiction of the Bengaluru territorial range of the Bengaluru Urban Division.

The order states that when the Tree Officer carried out the field inspection, it was found that a total of 290 trees were “missing”.  Later, the KRIDE was directed to re-enumerate trees coming in the way of the project. In its revised estimate, the agency sought permission to remove 764 trees.

For the public notice issued by the DCF BBMP, four suggestions and objections were received, raising concern over the loss of green cover. They also demanded action against those involved in missing trees by booking the cases.

Need for the project

In response to the objections, the KRIDE stated that the suburban rail project was much needed to reduce vehicular traffic and bring down pollution.

“The alignment of Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (BSRP) is almost running parallel to the existing railway track on the adjacent railway land, and hence there is no way to change the alignment to avoid trees. Further, the two tracks of the BSRP are being laid to one side of the existing Indian Railway track. Therefore, the trees standing at the embankment of the proposed tracks, including the proposed station between Lottegollahalli Railway Station and Chikkabanavara Railway Station, are getting affected. Hence, a minimum number of trees will be cut, which are unavoidable due to technical reasons.”

The order issued by the DCF directed the KRIDE to retain 135 trees and translocate 47 trees. The order does not have details about the reasons for missing trees and actions initiated by the KRIDE.

 An official of the KRIDE said, “We are looking into the matter and consulting both the Railway authorities and Forest department officials on the same.”

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