Sunday, August 17, 2008
Traffic versus trees: Bangalore in a fix
Protest the destruction of Bangalore Trees. Find alternative methods to slove the traffic problems.
Bangalore, Aug. 10: An ambitious plan to widen city roads and decongest traffic by involving landlosers has run into a hurdle with Karnataka High Court ordering that all projects that are a potential threat to the environment would have to be vetted by a committee of experts.
The court’s intervention followed a public interest litigation alleging that the massive exercise, which entails the cutting of 35,000-40,000 trees along 300km of roads, would cause irreparable damage to Bangalore’s climate. Environmentalists say the temperature in areas where the trees would be cut could go up by at least 3°C.
“The committee will look into the complaints and based on its order work can be executed,” said a bench of Justices R. Malimath and Gopala Gowda in a recent ruling. The court, however, added that the committee should consider public interest and sentiments while examining the projects.
“The committee is a permanent one and any infrastructure project being taken up by either the city civic body or Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation will be referred to it. This is a precedent for the entire country. Other cities, too, can take a leaf out of this judgment as many Indian cities are planning fast-track infrastructure projects,” said Leo Saldanha of Environment Support Group, which, along with other NGOs, had filed the PIL.