In a show of strength, the NGOs, environmentalists and individuals opposed the proposal to cut down trees on the Golf Course Road in city for widening of the road to complete the four-lane National Highway (NH 212) project.
On Wednesday, a public hearing was held by the Department of Forest to record the objections of public on the proposed road widening and four lane national highway projects.
State government with the collaboration of NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) had taken the project of four-lane National Highway that connects Karnataka and Kerala covering Mysuru, Nanjangud, Gundlupet and Kozhikode. The 212 Km stretch four-lane national highway which is at its final stage was awaiting response from the Department of Forest to cut down trees on the Golf Course Road to connect link the highway in city limits. Various eco-friendly organisation and individuals had approached the Department of Forest and had opposed the felling of trees.
As per the law, a public hearing meeting with the DCF, NHAI officers and PWD officers was called on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion, DCF Karikalan said “The chief engineer of the project had sent us a request seeking to cut down 135 trees on Golf Course Road to widen the road and complete the four-lane national highway project, but we denied their proposal. “Later, they had requested and marked 90 trees and then 54 trees and now have come down to 48 trees. The objections are recorded and would be submitted to the tree authority,” he added.
Speaking at the meeting, R Chandra Prakash of the Mysuru Grahakara Parishat (MGP) said “There is enough space available on both sides of the road and there is no necessity of widening the existing road. Alternatively the road can be made a ‘One way’ road to reduce traffic flow on the road and the Ring Road may be used as the national highway, thus avoiding tree felling.”
Advocate Sudheer quoted that, “In January 2016, the NHAI in writing had refused to make the Golf Course Road a four-lane road and they have also considered the Ring Road as national highway. “Clearly the NHAI has said that no tree must be felled, but still the issue has been raised again. Secondly, no survey on traffic density on the road has been conducted and the decision to widen the road is unscientific. If at all there is a 45,000 passenger unit, it can be made as a four-lane road and the project of road widening must be cancelled right now and the ring road may be used as the national highway.”
Organisations and individuals including Let’s do It!, MGP, retired forest officers’ association and representatives from environmental associations opposed the felling of trees on the Golf Course Road to widen the road and complete the four-lane project.
Receiving the objections from the public DCF Karikalan said, “All the objections from the Public, NGO’s have been recorded and will be submitted for proceeding to Tree authority in two or three days. The tree authority which comprises of the CCF, MUDA and MCC Commissioner would assess it and bring it to the notice of other authorities and even to concerned Minister and also to Chief Minister,”
NH-212 executive engineer Satish, officer representing the Public welfare department and others were present.