The Draft Environmental Impact Assessment for the Peripheral Ring Road connecting Tumakuru Road and Hosur Road in Bengaluru revealed that the project requires the removal of 33,838 trees.
This is in stark contrast to the Bangalore Development Authority's (BDA) repeated assertions that the project needed the removal of only 200-500 trees.
"Out of 33,838 trees, 9304 trees were falling in TG Halli catchment area and 631 trees falling in Jarakabande RF where forest diversion of 10.12 hectares is proposed," the draft EIA report dated June 2020 said.
The content of the draft EIA was reported by Deccan Herald. The proposed project involves the development of the 65.5 km long Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) between Tumakuru Road on West and Hosur Road on East via Ballari Road and Old Madras Road. It integrates with the existing NICE Road.
The BDA had argued erroneously for over four years based on a flawed EIA report which suggested that 200-500 trees will be cut down for the project.
However, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) rejected this based on a report filed by the Horticulture and Forest Department which said that 16,685 trees will be removed.
In March, the Supreme Court pulled up the BDA for the contradictions in the area of forest land to be diverted for the project, and asked the body to conduct a fresh environment impact survey. Following this, the alignment used for the assessment of removal of trees and the areas surveyed for the project was changed.
However, it still does not explain the big difference in the number of trees marked for removal in the latest draft EIA report dated June 2020. The report also suggests building flyovers with a 30-metre buffer zone on six water bodies that the PRR will cross.
The BDA has also sought 25 acres of forest land in Jarakabande Kavalu near Yelahanka for the project. The road will also be located at a distance of 7.21 km from the Bannerghatta National Park and 1.49 km from the Puttenahalli Bird Conservation Reserve.
The draft EIA report warns that the water resources and water quality in the TG Halli catchment area will be affected due to the proposed removal of 9,304 trees.