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Tree committee to knock on HC doors against BMRCL

The High Court-appointed tree committee, set up to check the indiscriminate felling of trees for development projects, is set to move the Karnataka High Court against the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for allegedly trying to bypass rules through various tactics.

Stating they have not been consulted by the BMRCL before felling any trees, members said they are going to court against the corporation’s plan to axe 250 trees between Bannerghatta and Nagavara and 100 trees between Hosur Road and Vellara Junction. The HC had constituted a tree committee in November 2015, directing the BMRCL to seek committee permission before axing 50 or more trees. The BMRCL must also seek permission of the Tree Authority of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, Deputy Conservator of Forests, for axing any tree. But committee members point out that it has not happened. “The committee held only one meeting in 2017, to look into the trees to be axed in Jayanagar. But that showed no result.

We are now going to approach HC to inform that BMRCL has no regard for its orders,” a committee member told DH. The member added the court will also be apprised that the BMRCL has been bypassing the committee by dividing the number of trees into smaller units. “The BMRCL sought tree-felling permission in phases. Instead of applying for permission to axe 100 or 200 trees, they seek permission for 20 trees at a time,” the member added. The Bangalore Environment Trust has also filed a case against the BMRCL on the trees axed and disrespect to the committee. Cholarajappa, BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forests, said: “They approached us to inform that 250 trees between Bannerghatta and Nagawara will be axed. But the letter is not signed. We have decided that this time no permission will be given in parts, but for the complete project,” he said. BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth said cutting trees is the last option. So far no request has been made to the BBMP to cut trees.

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