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Government uses lockdown to fell hundreds of trees

Government uses lockdown to fell hundreds of trees
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Government uses lockdown to fell hundreds of trees

Highlights

Despite the Karnataka High Court stay on the road widening project by Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) the citizens say more than 500 trees have already been axed

Bengaluru: Despite the Karnataka High Court stay on the road widening project by Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) the citizens say more than 500 trees have already been axed.

An online petition started by the citizen activist and founder of Citizens Agenda for Bengaluru, Sandeep Anirudhan has garnered more than 10,000 signatures.

"The government has used the Covid induced lockdown to destroy hundreds if not thousands of trees. Even civic society seems to have lost its way. These are the last remaining heritage trees of Bengaluru which are centuries old, and can never be replaced. The KRDCL project lacks due process.

It has no detailed project report (DPR). There has been no public consultation and the lack of a transport plan. The government has also committed a bigger crime by not notifying the tree act in Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural regions. Hence, felling of trees in these areas is illegal.

The government is bypassing the Tree Act," said Sandeep Anirudhan, citizen activist and founder of Citizens Agenda for Bengaluru. The court had asked an expert committee to be formed, comprising professors from GKVK university, to examine if trees could be saved during the process of road construction.

The road widening project covers areas like Anekal, Harohalli, Nelamangala, KR Puram and Sarjapur. Anirudhan has also stated that no due process for projects has been followed.

He said the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has announced a Peripheral Ring Road project which will destroy 33,000 trees without following the due process'. "Bannerghatta Eco Sensitive Zone which is the last lung space of the city, has been reduced by a shocking 100 SQM.

There is no DPR, Environment Impact Assessment, and no Public Consultation on the DPR, done in all the above projects. Many Internal roads are marked for widening, and many other projects both by the BDA and BBMP, without any scientific plan or due process / public consultation, targeting many thousands of trees," Anirudhan explained.

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