Bengaluru Green Cover reduced from 70% to 3%. SAVE Bengaluru's TREES! STOP ECOCIDE!
Bengaluru Green Cover reduced from 70% to 3%. SAVE Bengaluru's TREES! STOP ECOCIDE!
Bengaluru has lost 95% of its tree cover: It has been tragically reduced from 70% to 3%, in the past 5 decades!
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! Bengaluru has long exceeded its bio-capacity, and its growth is way beyond it's ecological boundaries.
The only way we can rescue ourselves is by 'FIRST 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 executing disastrous ill-thought out policies and projects, that chip away at the meagre green cover remaining! This will make our city uninhabitable!
- The KRDCL has ILLEGALLY issued contracts, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, for a 'Bangalore Surrounding Roads project', which targets anywhere near 8,500 trees. This is probably the last batch of old indigenous trees that exist in Bangalore and need to be declared as Heritage Trees', instead of felling! Many trees have already been cut, and some have been transplanted, without any scientific basis.
- The BDA has announced a Peripheral Ring Road project which will target in excess of 33,000 trees, again without due process.
- Bannerghatta Eco Sensitive Zone which is the last lung space of the city, has been reduced by a shocking 100 SQM, once again without due process.
- Many Internal roads are marked for widening, and many other projects both by the BDA and BBMP, without any scientific plan or due process / public consultation, targeting many thousands of trees.
- The BMRCL project itself was undertaken without due process / public consultation, and the BMRCL is on a rampage as usual targeting many more thousands of trees.
All these decisions lack DUE PROCESS, have not had Public Consultation, lack DPRs or public consultation on DPR, lack EIA, lack Public consultation on the main decision/project itself.
ALL THESE PLANS AND PROJECTS ARE ILLEGAL:
- Planning Norms violated: There is no legal Masterplan for Bengaluru that has been prepared by the MPC (mandated by 74th Amendment of our constitution), and has had Public Consultation.
- The above projects are not part of the TRANSPORT PLAN, of a legally produced Masterplan, complying with provisions of the 74th Amendment.
- Pointless: The projects are piece-meal, band-aid approach which will not solve any problem.
- Harmful: 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.
- NO DUE PROCESS for projects: There is No Detailed Project Report, No Environment Impact Assessment, and No Public Consultation on the DPR, done for any of the above.
- Alternatives have not been studied, and the decisions have been taken in an ad hoc, haphazard manner.
- THERE HAS BEEN NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION for all decisions! Making them not just a violations of the law, but also contempt of the High Court!
- Sham public hearings: Instead of holding public consultations on the Main decisions / Project DPRs, sham public hearings are being conducted hastily by the Forest Dept on tree cutting, and Environment Impact by the KSPCB, and these are being passed off as Public Consultations, which they are not! The Govt is trying to hoodwink the public! But we are not hoodwinked!
- Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976 has not been notified in the Bengaluru Urban District and Bengaluru Rural district. Hence, as the necessary administrative mechanisms have not been established as per the act, the felling of every single tree is a violation of the LAW. The Govt is acting in violation of the ACT! This is contempt of the Laws!
- “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. The decisions by the govt go against the law of the land.
- The KRDCL project for road widening needs acquiring of new land. But in this case, the widening is being carried out without acquisition of fresh land, which points to deliberate and planned destruction of trees!
- 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.
- Declare Climate Emergency. Declare zero tolerance for Tree cutting / Green Cover reduction.
- Scrap the Bangalore Surrounding Roads project.
- Scrap the Peripheral Ring Road Project.
- Cancel the Bannerghatta ESZ reduction notification.
FOLLOW DUE PROCESS:
- Empower Metropolitan Committee to develop Masterplan for the entire district of Bengaluru. Employ ecologists as the core architects of the plan.
- Institute an 'Ecology Plan' as the basis of the entire Masterplan Exercise. We need a habitable city first. Save existing green cover (3%), and increase it to at least 30%.
- Build an integrated Sustianable Mobility Plan for the entire District of Bengaluru, as part of the Masterplan exercise.
- Establish Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority, with capacity building employing qualified Transport and Urban planners and engineers.
- Let the UMTA develop an integrated Multi-Modal transport plan for the entire district.
- 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.
- For ROAD WIDENING : Explore eco-friendly options such as retaining 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!
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 news 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
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