BANGALORE: The abundant greenery that once made up a pleasant road has all but disappeared now. The operation has begun to axe off over more than hundred trees on the Surajan Das Road, which connects Old Madras Road and HAL Airport Road. This road widening project taken up by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) to ease traffic congestion has left several residents of the area unhappy, although a few residents came forward to object the felling of the trees. Most residents seemed to be unaware that the project is partially funded by the private sector. “HAL is providing the land for widening of the road, the BBMP and Bagmane Tech Park are sharing the cost of the project,” said Chandrashekar, a supervisor of GVR Infrastructure Private Limited.
The residents are convinced that protesting against the Government, to protect the trees, will make no difference. “It does not really matter what I say. The trees will be cut down anyway,” says Ramesh, a coconut vendor who works in the locality.
Axing trees not only leads to rising temperature and shrinking green cover, it also has a direct impact on the livelihood of people.
Muniswamy, who has been selling flowers for the past five years under the tree on a stretch on the Suranjan Das Road, will have to now move to another place. “My daily business will be hit,” he lamented.
Bangalore is still known as the Garden City because of the few trees standing in such places but the question arises does chopping of trees provide clearing of traffic blockades. “The traffic situation on the road is not to bad. If some effective ways of managing traffic during peak hours can be found, the trees can be saved,” said a resident, Girish K.
However, nine months on, the only work that has been carried out is that of clearing trees and the pipe laying work, which is still under way. The latter has caused inconvenience to the general public, who have to bear with the dust, uneven roads and dangerous trenches that greet them at regular intervals.
“The pollution is unbearable and to ride a two-wheeler on this road is a nightmare, especially in the dark,” said Kavya Reddy, a resident of the road.
M Krishnappa, councillor of C V Raman Nagar, said that drain work is consuming a lot of time. “Only after the drain work is completed, laying of the road will be taken up. Hopefully the work should complete in six months,”
However, the BBMP officials said that they were ready to plant 800 saplings in place of 160 trees that would make way for the road widening project.