BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday permitted the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) to cut 577 trees, translocate 212 trees and retain 44 out of 833 trees on different stretches of Phase-2A of the Metro project, as recommended by the Technical Experts Committee (TEC). The High Court observed that judges are not experts to decide whether 577 trees can be allowed to be cut or not when the TEC has given its opinion.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magaum passed the order while allowing the application filed by the BMRCL seeking permission to cut trees based on the TEC report. The court noted that as many as 256 trees can be saved by retaining 44 trees and translocating 212 trees, as suggested by the TEC.
The court was hearing public interest litigation filed by Dattatreya T Devare and Bangalore Environment Trust in 2018 with regard to non-implementation of Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act. Meanwhile, permitting the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd to cut 18 trees and translocate nine trees as per TEC’s recommendation for the Bengaluru Surrounding Roads project, the court mentioned the necessity of new plantation as recommended by the panel, to compensate for the trees proposed to be felled.