The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation is all set to chop down trees in Jayanagar including some in the Lakshman Rao Park for the construction of the RV Road and Bommasandra metro line.
With a few a trees already being cut down and concrete being prepared for the metro line, . residents are miffed as the work is allegedly being carried out without their consent. Decrying the fact that the layout and other details of the project have not been provided to them, an agitated resident attempted to even stall the metro worker being done on Tuesday.
Speaking to TNM, Vijay Nishanth, an environmental activist, said that he had spoken to Shantakumar, Assistant Conservator of Forest, BBMP South Zone to conduct numbering of trees, as several trees were being cut down and moved in the cover of night.
â€śThey are following a rolling system, wherein, their estimate of the trees to be felled is increasing and they have even changed officials in charge after cutting a few trees,â€ť he added. While the BMRCL claims to be cutting only 18 trees, residents believe that many more have already been cut and fear that they would lose close to 250 trees to the project.
YK Muddukrishna, retired Joint Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and President of Residentsâ€™ Welfare Association (RWA) of Jayanagar and the resident who attempted to stall the work, said that had attended meetings with the BMRCL officials prior to the project.
â€śWe had put a condition that they should conduct a census of the trees that are going to be cut and must provide us with a layout of the project. Though they have verbally explained to us, the concerned documents havenâ€™t been provided. When public property is taken over for such projects, residents should be informed about the plans,â€ť he said.
He also alleged that the people are being misled as the BMRCL is falsely claiming to have sanctions from BBMP and the Residents Welfare Association.
â€śThey havenâ€™t taken any written permission from BBMP. We asked them to enter into a MoU with BBMP about the utilization of park spaces, which they have not done,â€ť he said.
â€śThey are trying to hoodwink us,â€ť Muddukrishna said. He even said that the BMRCL officials are not approaching the RWA to answer their queries.
The residents have even approached National Green Tribunal but did not push as they hoped for peaceful negotiations.
Responding to allegations, the BMRCL said, â€śWe have gotten all the required permissions from BBMP. A committee was formed long ago which gave us permissions. BBMP is the body that is cutting the trees for us,â€ť said Vasanth Rao, public relations officer, BMRCL.
Plans to translocate some of the cut trees were also in the offing. However, Vijay claims that the BMRCL have no documents for it.
Lakshman Rao Park is one of South East Asiaâ€™s longest boulevards and holds trees that were planted in 1950s making them a part of the cityâ€™s history. According to the High Court order, authorities are to conduct public consultations if more than 50 trees are being cut in an area.