Bangalore is losing its green cover. Again. To build a section of the metro route from Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), 3,366 trees will be cut down, and the public had less than 10 days to respond.
The BBMP had notified the proposal to cut 1,026 trees between Kodibeesanahalli and Byappanhaalli Depot on April 30, in the midst of the lockdown. Due to protests from campaigners, the deadline was pushed back to “10 days following the lifting of the lockdown”. On June 23, the BBMP published two more BMRCL proposals, one for Phase 2A and one for Phase 2B. The metro authority has requested to clear 833 trees to complete the remaining stretch of Phase 2A between Central Silk Board and Kodibeesanahalli. The BMRCL has proposed clearing 1507 trees between Kasturinagar and Kempapura near Hebbal in yet another plan. The trees on the remaining section of the line between Kempapura and KIA are expected to be felled via one or more notifications.
Namma Metro has divided the project into two phases: Phase 2 A and Phase 2 B. However, the project is divided into package 1 and package 2 within these Phases. The fragmentation of initiatives does not give citizens a comprehensive picture of the project’s effects.
Beautiful trees such as Akash Mallige, Hunge, Gulmohar, Tabebuia Rosea, Raintrees, Ashoka, Mahagony, Banyan, Cluster Fig with huge canopies, all marked to be felled, can be found along the Phase 2 A, package 1 stretch from Silk Board to Ibbalur.
Tree cutting should be the exception in a city that values its ecology and environment. Unfortunately, no significant infrastructure project in Bangalore has ever been denied permission to remove trees.
Therefore citizens demand
- Issue a public notice for tree cutting of the entire airport line and not subpackages.
- Meanwhile do not approve cutting of these 3366 trees for Bangalore Metro Phase 2 A and 2 B Projects
- Provide citizens with details on actions taken on the objections sent so far.