The Karnataka high court directed the Bengaluru Metro Railway Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to plant 4,000 trees along the Nagavara-Gottigere route where the new metro track would be laid.
The direction has opened up the chances of the Nagavara-Gottigere metro line being laid after being stalled for two years since 2019, according to a report in Kannada Prabha. The metro line project could not take off due to possible environmental damage that its construction would have caused.
The BMRCL had applied to the forest department to fell over 2,000 trees alongside the proposed track. While on the other side, Bengaluru Parisara Samithi, a leading social service organisation had appealed to the high court questioning the need to cut so many trees for the metro line.
The special bench headed by the Chief Justice of Karnataka Justice A S Okha and Justice Suraj Govind Raj took up the matter for hearing on Thursday.
The bench ruled that the BMRCL must compensate for the damage done to the environment by planting as many as 4,000 trees. BMRCL should further nourish them and report to the court about the action taken on this matter.
Senior advocate Uday Holla, who argued on behalf of BMRCL, stated that due to the halt in the construction, the BMRCL was going through losses and escalation of cost. He said the BMRCL has agreed to plant 3,500 trees as per the directions of the tree officer of the BBMP forest department.
The court also advised the BMRCL and the tree officer to plant trees only endemic to the area after testing the soil. Soil testing would help in achieving full growth of the trees. The court has directed the Tree officer to give a report on this matter in two weeks.
It also directed the deputy conservator of forests to cooperate with the tree officer in planting the trees and overseeing the survival of the trees, by taking proactive measures.