K-RIDE to cut 32,572 trees to pave the way for Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project

Naomi Pandya Posted on: 2024-05-15 09:10:00 Viewer: 2,013 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Bengaluru

K-RIDE to cut 32,572 trees to pave the way for Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project (Representative Image)

Bengaluru, India (Urban Transport News): As progress marches forward on the Bengaluru Suburban Railway Project (BSRP), concerns over its environmental impact have surfaced. Railway Infrastructure Development Company Karnataka (K-RIDE) recently unveiled startling details, revealing that a staggering 32,572 trees are slated for felling to pave the way for the ambitious 149-km suburban railway network.

According to K-RIDE's assessment report on social and environmental impacts, a significant portion of these trees, approximately 55 per cent, are concentrated in Akkupet, near Devanahalli. This area is earmarked for the establishment of a depot crucial for train maintenance. Among the 17,505 trees in Akkupet earmarked for removal, many are eucalyptus and acacia, varieties deemed undesirable due to their adverse effects.

Beyond Akkupet, the remaining 15,067 trees face the axe, with 13,996 situated within the limits of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). An additional 18,576 trees stand outside the city boundaries, adding to the project's environmental footprint.

K-RIDE's disclosure comes in the wake of the publication of its comprehensive assessment report, shedding light on the social and environmental ramifications of the suburban railway project. Once completed, the BSRP is expected to serve approximately 9.84 lakh commuters, underscoring its significance in Bengaluru's transportation landscape.

With four corridors and 58 stations envisioned, the BSRP holds promise for enhancing connectivity across the city. However, the project's environmental impact cannot be understated. Acknowledging the concerns raised, K-RIDE revealed that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has sanctioned the felling of 2,098 trees, with plans for transplanting an additional 178.

To mitigate the ecological fallout, K-RIDE has earmarked Rs 8.07 crore for compensatory afforestation, pledging to plant 22,760 trees in exchange for those felled. The BBMP, in collaboration with K-RIDE, has initiated efforts to plant saplings within the city limits, with 59 trees already transplanted.

Highlighting stringent oversight, K-RIDE assured that tree-cutting permissions undergo rigorous scrutiny by the BBMP's Tree Expert Committee (TEC). Each tree's fate is determined following a thorough physical inspection, ensuring judicious decision-making. Moreover, the BBMP will assume responsibility for nurturing the newly planted saplings, fostering their growth and sustainability.

As Bengaluru grapples with burgeoning infrastructure needs, the BSRP stands as a testament to progress. However, its development underscores the delicate balance between urban expansion and environmental preservation, urging stakeholders to tread cautiously to safeguard the city's green cover and ecological vitality.

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