Bengaluru Green Cover less than 3%. SAVE Bengaluru's TREES! STOP ECOCIDE! Freeze Projects.

Bengaluru Green Cover less than 3%. SAVE Bengaluru's TREES! STOP ECOCIDE! Freeze Projects.

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Bengaluru's tree cover(which used to be 70%) is tragically down to less than 3%! 

Bengaluru is heating up!  Bengaluru is polluted!  Bengaluru is at the threshold of DAY ZERO, its water resources are nearing their end!  Bangalore is sinking into a Climate Crisis!  The only way we can rescue ourselves is by 'SAVING EVERY TREE THAT EXISTS', and regenerating by planting more trees!

The Karnakata Govt's RINGS OF DEATH for BENGALURU!

The Karnataka Government, has been announcing disastrous ill-thought out policies and projects, that chip away at the meagre green cover remaining!  This will make our city uninhabitable!  

  1. The KRDCL has announced a Bangalore Surrounding Roads project which will target anywhere near 10,000 trees.
  2. The BDA has announced the Peripheral Ring Road project which will target in excess off 33,000 trees.
  3. Bannerghatta Eco Sensitive Zone which is the last lung space of the city, has been reduced by a shocking 100 SQM. 
  4. Many Internal roads are marked for widening, and many other projects both by the BDA and BBMP, without any scientific plan, thus targeting many thousands of trees.
  5. The BMRCL is on a rampage as usual targeting many more thousands of trees.

The Eco Sensitive Zone modification and all these projects have not had the mandatory Public Consultation under the law.

For the PRR, the BDA has announced a hurriedly called Public Consultation on the 18th of August amidst the COVID crisis in a remote location; it will be impossible for public to attend the meeting, and it also doesn't provide public sufficient time to prepare their objections.  It is not possible to file objections by email or any other means, thus depriving the public of the chance to file their views.

We citizens are frustrated at the Government's attitude:  

  1. There is no integrated Masterplan for Bengaluru that has consultation with the Public (mandated by 74th Amendment of our constitution).
  2. NO DUE PROCESS. 
  3. The proposed projects are not part of the TRANSPORT PLAN, of the RMP (CDP).
  4. Lack a Plan:  The projects are piece-meal, band-aid approach which will not solve any problem.
  5. The measures will accentuate the heat island effect and lead to lowering the quality of living in the city, due to acute tree cover loss, increase in vehicles, industrialisation and pollution, and lead to more concretisation.
  6. There is no Environment Impact Assessment done for any of the above.
  7. No alternatives have been studied.
  8. THERE HAS BEEN NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION for the project!  Making it not just a violation of the law, but also contempt of the High Court!  

 

MAJOR ILLEGALITY:

“It is not right for any infrastructure project to be retrofitted into a non-existent plan. Currently, there is no plan for Bengaluru’s expansion,”. “Since there is no plan, you cannot push for the project in violation of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. That is one major illegality,” 

The Supreme Court had held that no project can be conceived against an original alignment. “If the government wanted to bring in the PRR, it had to amend the original plan in accordance with the Act, which it did not do.”

In the BMICAPA vs NICE judgement, Supreme court ruled that the concept of any project against any planning framework was void from the very beginning. “In the case of the PRR, it is very adventurous of them to go against the law of the land. 

It is criminal for an elected govt to commit such illegalities and rob us our our right to environment, and carry out such an ecocide!

 

TIMING IS JUST WRONG:

On top of everything else, the city and the state are going through a humanitarian crisis due to COVID.  The Govt has bigger priorities to address.  For instance, the BMTC is providing the vital backbone service for transport, but is cash starved to even pay its employees.  The Govt needs to be prioritising money for such vital services, instead of blowing it up on projects that are not required.  

These projects will not meet any need in the new reality:

Due to the COVID Pandemic, and also due to changing policies of IT Majors, 'work from home' is becoming a reality, and in the coming years, Bengaluru will experience a DE-GROWTH!   The projects will become irrelevant.  

Hence, until the COVID pandemic is past us, all infrastructure and expansion projects should be frozen and reviewed only after the pandemic is over, after studying the rapidly shifting new social and economic trends! 

WE NEED TO TURN THE CLOCK BACK:

And the COVID pandemic has shown us the importance of having healthy forest buffer ecosystems.  We need more green cover, and we need to safeguard what exists today. 

OUR DEMANDS:

  1. Scrap the Bangalore Surrounding Roads project.
  2. Scrap the Peripheral Ring Road Project. 
  3. Cancel the Bannerghatta ESZ reduction notification.
  4. FOLLOW DUE PROCESS: 
    1. Empower Metropolitan Committee to develop Masterplan for the entire district of Bengaluru.  Have an 'Ecology Plan' as the basis of the entire Masterplan Exercise.  We need a habitable city first. We need to save existing green cover (<3%), and increase it to at least (15%).
    2. Build an integrated Mobility Plan for the entire District of Bengaluru, as part of the Masterplan exercise. 
    3. Establish Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority, with capacity building employing qualified Transport and Urban planners and engineers. 
    4. Let the UMTA develop an integrated Multi-Modal transport plan for the entire city.
    5. Provide efficient Mass Transit:  Let all Road requirements be based on the multi-modal transport mix of Mass transit options such as suburban rail, a re-imagined and efficient bus service, metro, etc.,   Discourage private ownership of vehicles, and reduce congestion.  Make both new road construction and road widening unnecessary.
    6. For ROAD WIDENING :  Explore eco-friendly options such as maintaining the tree line as median, and acquiring land beyond the tree line for additional lanes, as shown here:  https://www.facebook.com/CitizensAgendaForBengaluru/posts/3546948048668281

SAVE EVERY SINGLE TREE!   

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE EVEN ONE MORE!

#MaraKadiBedi #SaveBengaluruTrees

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Bengaluru's green cover lost:  https://researchmatters.in/article/satellite-images-show-green-cover-bangalore-reducing-alarmingly-fast#:~:text=This%20came%20at%20the%20sacrifice,the%20next%20couple%20of%20years 

Project details KRDCL:  http://www.krdcl.in/en/budgetworks-blraroundroads 

Independent Environment Impact Assesssment (EIA) on KRDCL BSR project by experts:  https://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/bangalore-surrounding-roads-widening-project-tree-felling-ashwathkattes-environmental-damage-eia-47094

Reduction of Bannerghatta ESZ: https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/reduction-of-bannerghatta-esz-for-whose-benefit-708419.html

This report in Feb 2020 cites BDA applying for permission for felling 16,600 trees for PRR project.  Wonder what the remaining 14,000 trees were for.  Now that PRR project trees have gone up to 33,000+ trees, the number has doubled!, and the other 14K trees, how many are they now? :  https://www.newskarnataka.com/bangalore/bda-submits-proposal-to-cut-29512-trees-for-various-infra-projects-in-bluru

PRR Project details: https://www.deccanherald.com/city/top-bengaluru-stories/bengaluru-not-200-over-33000-trees-to-go-for-peripheral-ring-road-865300.html