BENGALURU: Activists are up in arms over widening of a four-km stretch on Bannerghatta-Anekal Main Road. The stretch that leads to Shivanahalli village falls under the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of Bannerghatta National Park, and is being widened from 3.7 metres to 7 metres.
However, according to a state forest department official, any work outside the National Park in the ESZ is allowed except for Red Category industries like mining and hazardous chemical units. However, he promised to look into the issue.
Local activists and residents of Shivanahalli village were initially happy when the road was taken up for repairs as it was in a very bad shape due to movement of trucks carrying stones. “However, we were shocked to find that they were doubling the width of the road without proper sanction from the authorities concerned. Expansion of the road that falls so near to the Park needs clearance from the wildlife board. The road widening will adversely affect the movement of the wildlife,” said an activist Vishnu Narayan.
The Bannerghatta Nature Conservation Trust has even lodged a complaint with the Additional Chief Secretary (Forests) on the illegal widening of the road in the ESZ area. Coordinator Bhanu Prakash R said, “We have been asked to lodge a complaint with Sanjay Bijoor of the Zoo Authority. If we are not satisfied with the action taken, the Additional Chief Secretary (Forests) has asked us to return within 15 days. By the time officials wake up, the road expansion will be completed.”
“If the forest secretariat does not take any action, we will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission on how such work was taken up during election time without any approval.”A senior forest department official said, “Anything inside the National Park is our concern. Within ESZ, only Red Category industries are banned and prohibited. But since this main road enters the BNP, I will look into the matter.”