The proposed steel flyover between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal has had Bengaluruâ€™s citizens up in arms against losing the 800-odd trees that the Bengaluru Development Authority had planned to axe.
However, a recent study by Azim Premji University revealed that 2,244 trees will be axed and not the figure of 812 put forth by the BDA when the steel flyover had been proposed.
The first phase of chopping 112 trees will begin on Jayamahal Road near Palace Grounds and the BBMP has given citizens only 10 days to voice their objections.
The notice issued only two days ago by the BBMP's Assistant Conservator of Forests and Tree Officer, Central Bengaluru, says that objections â€świth valid reasons and supporting documentsâ€ť should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints can also be filed by phone to 9480685381.
The BBMP's road infrastructure cell has requested the forest cell to grant permission for removal these 112 trees of different species.
A city resident, Stanley Pinto, filed a petition on Tuesday on Change.org to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike asking it to revert its decision to â€śdestroy the cityâ€™s precious green coverâ€ť. In just 23 hours, the petition has gathered 534 supporters and needs 466 more to reach the BBMP Commissioner.
â€śWe conducted a survey of all the trees in the area and these 112 trees have to be axed for the road-widening project. These trees are old and some of them as old as 60 to 80 years. The BBMP does not have the equipment to uproot the tree and replant the same. If we try to do it, the trees will anyway die. We will replant twice the number of trees slated to be cut but may be not on the same stretch,â€ť said Assistant Conservator of Forests (East), G R Vijay Kumar.
He also said that a committee headed by Assistant Conservator of Forests BBMP, N Shanth Kumar, will decide on the course of action after reviewing the response from the public.
The civic body had proposed the widening of Jayamahal Road six years back.
A 325 m down ramp is supposed to come up at Jayamahal Main Road and the project was proposed to decongest traffic from the Kempegowda International Airport to Cantonment Railway Station.
â€śTo avoid traffic congestion at Rajbhavan, Chalukya Circle and Race Course Road, BDA proposed the construction of down ramps near Maharani College and near Rajbhavan. The plan is to construct an up and down ramp between the the Accountant Generalâ€™s office and Maharani College to check snarls at Chalukya Circle. The plan is to provide a down ramp from Hebbal to Jayamahal and Vasanth Nagar Main Road to avoid jams,â€ť said BBMP Chief Engineer Venkatesh.
The notice has rankled activists and environmentalists in the city. â€śWith the loss of 112 trees, we lose 1,63,520 days of oxygen,â€ť Priya Chetty Rajagopal, a member of Citizens for Bengaluru, wrote in her response to BBMP.