The long-delayed Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) may have to “fly” over core areas of the draft eco-sensitive Bannerghatta National Park as it attempts to connect seven towns that encircle Bengaluru. Preliminary documents submitted by the National Highways Authority of India to the Ministry of Environment and Forests in June to obtain the terms of reference show that the STRR will pass through the core areas of the national park, even if it is elevated for a nearly 7-km stretch. The draft feasibility report submitted holds clues on the impact of the project and the 179.63-km alignment, which has been modified since the original 115-km alignment was drawn up by the Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority.
The report has some good news. The modified alignment — which encompasses Hosur town also — spares at least three major forests which were in danger as per the original alignment.
However, the “unavoidable” casualty is the 104.3-sq. km area of the national park which is in the alignment of the proposed six-lane road that will connect Ramanagaram with Hosur. More than 19 hectares, much of it falling in a critical corridor seeing elephant movement, is proposed to be diverted for the road within the park.