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Opposition to corporation’s plan to fell trees gaining momentum

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Source : The Hindu Date : 08.06.2009

Opposition to corporation’s plan to fell trees gaining momentum

Staff Correspondent

MCC’s application to be heard today; Forest Department to hear public opinion

 


Forest Department urged not to grant permission to MCC

MCC plans to fell 68 trees near RTO Circle


— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Green cover: The Mysore City Corporation plans to fell 123 trees to widen the Lalitha Mahal Road in Mysore.

MYSORE: Opposition to the Mysore City Corporation’s plan to fell 123 trees on Lalitha Mahal Road and 68 trees near the RTO Circle for road-widening work is gaining momentum.

Environmentalists are building pressure on authorities of the Department of Forests not to grant permission to the corporation to cut down full-grown trees at both the place.

The Tree Court will be hearing the corporation’s application for felling trees on Monday near the Arch Gate on the Lalitha Mahal Road. The department will also hear public opinion on the issue on Monday.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Deputy Conservator of Forests, the Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has urged the department not to permit felling of trees on the Lalitha Mahal Road and near the RTO Circle.

“Many of us in the MGP, who are engineers and experts belonging to different professions, are not averse to modernisation or development. In fact, we all are in favour of sustainable development. But what the corporation is suggesting is not along these lines,” according to Major General S.G. Vombatkere (Retd.), president of the MGP.

The corporation has sought permission to fell 123 trees between the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) and the Arch Gate to widen the Lalitha Mahal Road. It has also sought permission to fell 68 trees near the RTO Circle to widen a stretch of the Mahatma Gandhi Road.

However, trees to be felled near the RTO Circle are yet to be identified.

Maj. Gen. Vombatkere said that traffic had increased on the Lalitha Mahal Road over that last several months. Most of the vehicles plying on the road, including buses and trucks, would have plied on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) if work on the road had been completed. “We demand that work on the ORR be completed at a fast pace, and this will obviate the need to widen the Lalitha Mahal Road,” he said in the letter.

According to Maj. Gen. Vombatkere, tree-lined avenues are also a part of the city’s heritage apart from stately buildings, lakes and parks. If the 123 trees are felled, a part of the city’s heritage would be lost for ever, he said. The Lalitha Mahal Road falls within the heritage zone and hence the 123 trees lining the road must not be felled in the interest of preserving Mysore’s heritage, he said.

“Do we know what will happen to the traffic density on the Lalitha Mahal Road when the Outer Ring Road is completed? It is more than likely to be reduced considerably. Thus, whatever the value estimated to be gained by widening the road will be even less,” he argued.

“Have the corporation authorities provided the Department of Forests information on any alternative that they have considered before arriving at this road-widening project that needs 123 trees to be felled? It appears to us that the MCC authorities have not applied their mind adequately before placing this request before the department,” he said.

Regarding the plan to fell 68 trees near the RTO Circle, he said this matter should not be a subject of Monday’s public hearing. A separate public hearing should be held at the site where trees were proposed to be felled, he demanded.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 14:16
 


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