In a move that has alarmed environmentalists and citizens, around 33,000 trees could be uprooted for the Peripheral Ring Road in Bengaluru. The draft Environmental Impact Assessment for the Peripheral Ring Road connecting Tumakuru Road and Hosur Road in Bengaluru showed that 33,838 trees will have to face the axe for the project. Also Read - Can Trees Help us Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic?

Earlier, Bangalore Development Authority had falsely stated that only 200-300 trees would be cut for the project. The draft EIA report has now warned that the move can have negative consequences.

“Removal of 33,838 trees and clearance of vegetation cause disturbance in Microclimate, habitat loss and disturbance of vegetation and sensitive plant communities. Removal of these trees can make alteration and physical disturbance, increased risk of soil erosion and release of CO2,” the draft said.

Livelihoods of people who would be affected due to the acquisition of agriculture lands and landed assets will be another debilitating impact.

Vinod Jacob, a Bengaluru-based activist, told The News Minute, “Even as a pandemic is underway and the legal fight is not complete, why the hurry behind all projects? The density of population does not help in a pandemic and again they want the same city to grow rather than spread development. Let the government focus on the health infrastructure first. How is health going to improve if they cut all the trees?”

After many criticised the decision, a public hearing has been notified on August 18 wherein people can voice their concerns over the matter.

Meanwhile, social media has also questioned the project, with one user saying, ”Why always nature has to suffer at the cost of development?”

A petition has also been filed on Change.org to demand Karnataka CM to stop the felling of trees.

The petition states, ”The removal of such a huge number of trees will suffocate our Bangalore proudly known as the Garden city. The project would have a devastating impact on Bengaluru’s air quality, weather and its ecosystem. We as responsible citizens strongly oppose the PRR project. We demand that the project either be scrapped completely or be revised such that no harm is done to our environment.”