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News Entry# 287631
  
Dec 04 2016 (17:36)  BBMP fells trees in parts to beat the law (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestMMOPL/Mumbai Metro  -  

News Entry# 287631     
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Posted by: rdb*^  130856 news posts
If any project claims more than 50 trees, a public consultation is necessary
In a move that activists and environmentalists see as a subversion of laws framed to protect the city’s trees, the BBMP has started the process of felling 89 trees, without public consultation, for extension of the metro line between Byappanahalli and Whitefield.
However, in the 15-km Purple Line extension, BBMP has split the project into three tenders of public auctions.
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30 trees are slated to be felled for ITPL and Satya Sai Hospital station, another 40 trees will make way for the Visvesvaraya Industrial Area and Kundalahalli stations. Nineteen trees are to be cut for the Doddannekundi station.
In contrast, last year, there were three public consultations for Phase II extension from Mysuru Road station to Kengeri (123 trees) and from Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura (190 trees), but all failed.
A 12-member tree committee was formed to look into the matter. With a decision yet to be taken, BBMP Forest Cell officials said there is intense pressure to ensure that future extensions are done in a speedier manner.
The forest cell officials defended the legality of the tenders, claiming that the trees were in ‘different blocks’, and as these blocks constituted fewer than 50 trees, officers have the powers to fell them.
While members of the tree committee say they were not informed of the fresh proposals to cut trees, activist Leo Saldanha of the Environment Support Group called it a ‘deliberate mischief’.
“This is typical illegality to circumvent the laws and orders of the High Court of Karnataka. The entire line is one project. All trees to be cut should be considered under the same proposal. Moreover, it is clear from the tenders that there is little information about the trees. A Stethodia tree is mentioned, which does not exist; while Olive trees are not found in Bengaluru,” he said.
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