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Angry citizens file online petition against green murder

Angry citizens file online petition against green murder
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Angry citizens file online petition against green murder

Highlights

The citizens outrage over the axing of more than 33,000 trees to pave way for the peripheral ring road (PRR) coerced the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to initiate public hearing before the construction project begins

Bengaluru: The citizens outrage over the axing of more than 33,000 trees to pave way for the peripheral ring road (PRR) coerced the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to initiate public hearing before the construction project begins. More than 6,000 citizens signed an online petition and 1,000 have sent e-mails in protest against the project.

The online petition was addressed to BDA commissioner H R Mahadev, KSPCB chairman Vijay Kumar Gogoi and deputy commissioner K Srinivas. The online petition was sent via Jhatkaa.org, a campaigning organisation.

The campaigners demanded that the government scrap the project until a fresh Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) based on the exact details of the project is released.

BDA initially submitted a EIA report claiming that 200 trees will be cut. Jhatkaa.org has prepared a template message with key concerns. The last date of sending responses through email is September 15.

Nimisha, senior campaigner at Jhatkaa.org said, "Jhatkaa.org members are concerned about the extent of damage that this project can cause, given that DPR is not available to the public. In June, BDA themselves admitted to submitting a faulty EIA report and they expect the public to just trust that."

In June 2020, BDA submitted the revised EIA report that stated that 33,838 trees across 25 acre of forest land and six water bodies could be under threat because of the project. "The ring road alignment has been changed since the initial project report. The project should be rendered as a new project under the Karnataka Town Planning Act. The BDA has hidden facts on the of trees that will be felled and the overall environmental impact it can cause. This is unacceptable," Jhatkaa.org said.

In July 2020, the state government announced a public hearing on the PRR project in the midst of the Corona pandemic. Though the public consultation scheduled on August 18 at Nityotsava Kalyana Mantapa was called off by Minister of Environment, Anand Singh, the BDA went ahead with the meet. The development authority had called a virtual meeting in September which was later postponed.

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