December 2, 2021

KRDCL will not cut more trees invoked by Karnataka HC intervention

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The Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) have axed over 2,300 trees for the purpose of road-widening and were planning to chop down 7,500 more. However, Karnataka High Court stopped the felling of trees and the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act will not be applicable for the road widening projects on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

A report curated by the committee experts representing the University of Agricultural Sciences, Gandhi Krishi Vigyana Kendra (GKVK) has highlighted the issues about numerous trees being cut in the city outskirts. The committee was created by adhering the High Court’s order to review the KRDC projects.

According to the report, 2,347 trees have been chopped for various projects amid the forest ranges in the city outskirts which includes regions like KR Puram, Devanahalli, Yelahanka, Nelamangala, Doddaballapura, Malleswaram and Ramanagara.

The expert committee did a comprehensive study on every tree based on the road stretch being widened by the KRDCL and has cut down the amount of trees to be felled to 30 per cent of the previous proposal.

Though the Forest Department had given the permit to chop 5,297 trees, the number has been reduced to 1,721 by the expert committee.

According to sources, “The committee members have walked several kilometres every day for a detailed assessment of trees. Many trees could be saved due to the detailed assessment.”

The HC issued the census post the application filed by the Bangalore Environment Trust to implead KRDCL in the current writ petition over felling of trees. Though KRDCL contended about the Tree Act was notified based on the BBMP limits and would not be applicable to the areas on the outskirts of the city, the court has directed an order for the GKVK to deliberate on saving the trees as the agency has failed to do so.

The Forest Department had filed for an FIR against the KRDCL engineer for cutting down the trees meant for translocation.

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