BENGALURU: The construction works of the Indian Institute of Management- Bengaluru (IIMB) near the eco sensitive zone of the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) has been a cause for worry for forest officials and conservationists.Despite the BNP ground staffers objecting to the works, it is said the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests gave permission (PCCF) just before he retired.Forest officials point out that the construction works will hamper Hebbhalla stream—the lifeline of the forest patch. In the absence of maintaining a buffer zone, BNP staffers are looking at all means to save this prime lung space, closest to Bengaluru, which houses a healthy population of elephants, leopards and now a tiger.
IIMB is undertaking construction of their second campus in Mahanthalingapura village, Jigani hobli. The new landscape, spread across 6,000 sqmt, falls within 10km of the eco sensitive zone and does not require the Centre’s clearance, said the NOC issued by the retired PCCF, in 2018, a copy of which is with TNSE.
“We had rejected the proposal as the Hebbhalla stream would be affected. We know what works IIMB is undertaking, but they have not shared any details with us. The construction is at a 40 degree elevation and this will hamper the natural ecology,” said S M Prashanth, deputy conservator of forests, BNP.
Conservationists say that the area in contention is a part of the crucial elephant corridor. “The government should take a look and stop the construction,” they said.IIMB Project Manager M S Vishwanath said: “About 110 acres were given to IIMB on lease by the State government for our second campus. All clearances from the forest department have been obtained before commencing construction. We are constructing a building that will have three classrooms of different sizes, a few discussion rooms and an 84-room hostel with kitchen and dining facility. The BMRDA has approved the project.”
He added: “The construction area is 1.84 acres (built-up area) which is less than 2% of the total land allotted. All norms have been followed. Additional construction over a period of time will be taken up and we will follow the buffer zone norms. The allotted land had very few trees.”