This even though the road, located in Whitefield, did not require any widening as it had very little traffic in the first place.

Despite HC ban on felling five trees axed in Bengaluru for road widening
news Environment Thursday, August 08, 2019 - 08:39

Despite strict guidelines from the Karnataka High Court to make every effort to prevent indiscriminate tree felling in Bengaluru, more than five fully grown trees were allegedly axed by the civic body’s Major Roads Department without the requisite permission. 

This incident occurred in Whitefield’s Kadugodi ward where the trees were felled for the widening of BTP Road off the ITPL Main Road leading to GR Tech Park. This even though the road did not require any widening since there is not a lot of traffic on the road anyway.

The local residents had suspected that the trees would be felled when they saw boards announcing the road widening on Tuesday and they approached the local corporator. However, his office kept on insisting that the trees will only be trimmed and not face the axe. By Wednesday, these trees were cut.

Sandeep Anirundhan, a resident of the area, who had first raised alarm with various authorities to stop the tree cutting, did not get any positive response.

He said, “Now a well-shaped junction will become a deserted road. I discovered that the workers had no permission to cut the trees. In fact, there is a high court ban on tree felling until the tree committee is constituted.  So essentially what the BBMP has done is contempt of court.”

The Forest Cell of the BBMP only took notice of the matter only after another activist Arun Prasad approached the Deputy Conservator of Forests himself. 

TNM could not reach the Chief Engineer for Major Roads (BBMP) for a comment.

Arun Prasad said, “The concerned BBMP officials should be punished. How can they do this when the metro (BMRCL) don’t dare to touch the trees without permission.”

He added, “Now the officials want to wash their hands off the matter and are putting the blame on the contractor. This matter should be dealt with an iron hand.” 

He also contended the action should be taken against them for not only the tree cutting but also for contempt of court.  

It has now been learnt that Deputy Conservator of Forests Cholarajappa (also the Head of BBMP’s Tree Cell) did not give any permission to cut the trees. To give any permission the BBMP Tree Cell needs to form a ‘Tree Committee’ as directed by the high court. Upon learning of the matter, he has instructed the BBMP Forest staff to lodge a police complaint on the matter.

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