BMRCL to High Court : PIL petition led to a delay of two years in metro work

 




Bangalore, India (Metro  Rail Today): The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that work on a metro project is running two years behind schedule compared to other metro projects in the country in view of a PIL petition through which the court is examining the process of approval granted for felling trees.

Senior advocate Uday Holla, appearing for BMRCL, told the court that it would cost ₹85 lakh per day for the BMRCL and the delay would impact the project implementation.

When a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj told him that all this was because of not following the procedure for granting permission for felling trees by the competent authorities, Mr. Holla said that metro project is being delayed for ‘no fault of BMRCL’ as it is the Tree Officer/Authority who has to ensure compliance.

These submissions were made during the hearing of the petition filed in 2018 by Dattatraya T. Devare and the Bangalore Environment Trust on the issue of felling of trees for metro and other projects without following the provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976. The court, after ordering constitution of TEC in April 2019, has been continuously monitoring the process followed by the committee and the State’s authorities in processing application for felling trees.

Meanwhile, Bench directed that the Technical Expert Committee (TEC), set up on direction of the court, should specify the exact places for the trees to be translocated after being uprooted for the metro project in the city.

The court also said that the TEC, while identifying the places for translocation, should bear in mind the Section 8(5) of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976, which prescribes planting trees in the same site or other suitable sites to compensate number of trees felled. As far as possible, translocation should be at the same site where the tree was and if not, in a nearby area, the Bench said.

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