BANGALORE: The widening of roads has always been a controversy in the city as it involves the cutting of trees. The green activists raise their voice and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) says it can't help but cut trees to pave way for smooth movement of vehicles.
Now there is a tug of war between the environmentalists and the BBMP over cutting of trees on Sankey Tank Road. Experts and users , who have already lost trees in their locality for road widening, say that cutting of trees is not the only solution to ease traffic congestion.
However, some people prefer road widening too.
Vani Vilas Road Basavanagudi
Hundreds of trees were cut in 2003 for the construction of a flyover near National College, Basavanagudi. Environmentalists and residents protested against the construction work, but the flyover was finally inaugurated in 2005.
Principal of National College, Basavanagudi, Dr M Leelavathi said that construction of flyover is of no use for them.
"In fact, it has increased our problems. Earlier, the road was shady and it was calm to take classes.
Now with the amount of vehicles passing on the road it often distracts us. Road widening has increased traffic problem too. Now, we are also facing problem during monsoon, whenever it rains heavily, our auditorium is filled with water. All these because of trees being cut and road widening," she explained.
In spite of protests from the shop owners, Metro has made its way here. Hundreds of trees were cut here in 2008.
The 65 feet road widened to 75 feet and the new road was opened to public in November 2010.
President, CMH Road Traders' Association Imtiaz Ahmed said that the road has lost its beauty. Now, it has become a concrete platform. The traffic congestion still remains.
All the BMTC buses pass the road. There is no parking facility on the road. "Earlier, it was better than now'' he observed.
Race Course Road, High Grounds
Centuryold heritage trees were cut down to make way for road widening on Race Course Road, High Grounds, in 2007. Nearly 30 full grown trees were reduced to stumps on the road from Basaveswara Circle to Turf Club's main gate in a nightlong operation carried out by the BBMP. The new road was opened in 2010.
Hasiru Usiru active Vinay Srinivasa said that more than 400 trees were cut down in and around the road. "But it was not a solution. Now, with the widened road, cars are allowed to park where there were huge trees earlier," he said.