BENGALURU: Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) wrote to the chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Vijayakumar Gogi, demanding that the KSPCB scrap the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and public consultation for the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) to be held on August 18. They demanded a new scheme for public review due to the change in alignment.
“The 65 km-long PRR has been proposed without a due process. This project costs more than Rs 15,000 crore. Altogether 33,000 trees will be felled. It covers water bodies, catchments areas and reserved forest areas. The initial EIA report submitted was deemed erroneous and rejected by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), as the BDA said only 200 trees will be axed for the project,” the letter said.
The NGT had rejected the BDA report based on a report by the Horticulture and Forest Department, which said 16,685 trees would be felled. The NGT said a new EIA needs to be drafted, which was contested by the BDA in the Supreme Court, which ruled that a fresh EIA be prepared. Another EIA revealed that 33,838 trees will be axed.
“However, the BDA changed the alignment of the PRR, hence rendering it a new project as per the Karnataka Town & Country Planning Act. This voids the current EIA and calls for not just a fresh EIA but a new development proposal,” citizens said. The letter objected to a public consultation being held amidst Covid-19.