Intv: Biologist speaks on eco-hazards of Bannerghatta park’s proposed elevated flyover

Conservation biologist Sanjay Gubbi says the project would lead to more human elephant conflict.
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The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has proposed building a four-lane elevated expressway through the Bannerghatta National Park, the only protected area within Bengaluru Urban district.

The NHAI is working on a 280 km long expressway called the Bengaluru Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR). The road, which is part of the Bharat Mala Pariyojna scheme, will connect towns like Hosur in Tamil Nadu to satellite towns around Bengaluru, like Anekal, Sarjapura and Doddaballapura.

Read more: Why a shrinking Bannerghatta forest should worry Bengalureans

NHAI claims that the expressway will divert all commercial traffic, like trucks, that currently pass through Bengaluru city to reach these towns. And a 3.85 km stretch of this expressway will cut through the Bannerghatta National Park.

Details of the proposed flyover

Bannerghatta National Park is located south of Bengaluru. The park, which is 260 square kilometres, is one of the smallest protected areas in India.  

Bannerghatta is home to several endangered mammals including elephants, leopards, sambar, chital, wild dogs, slender lorises, and two tigers. The park also has over 200 species of birds.

NHAI plans to build around 3.85 km of this road through the core zone and two km through the eco-sensitive zone or buffer zone. This will require the diversion of 11 ha of forest land in the core zone and 5.7 ha from the buffer zone of the Park.

Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the National Wildlife Board have already cleared the project. It is now waiting for clearance from the Forest Conservation Authority.  

Unsurprisingly, ecologists and Bengaluru residents are concerned about the impact that this project will have on critical wildlife habitat. Conservation biologist Sanjay Gubbi felt the project would lead to more human elephant conflict. is currently running an online petition.  

Bhanu Sridharan is a Senior Reporter at Citizen Matters, Bengaluru.

This article was first published in Citizen Matters and has been republished with due permission. (c) Oorvani Foundation/Open Media Initiative.

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