HC to state: Set up expert body to prevent tree felling for Metro
A committee of environment, science and technology experts should be constituted to examine if metro rail projects can be undertaken without felling trees, directed the Karnataka High Court to the state government. This committee should examine every method to save trees; only if this is impossible, should trees be cut, said the court.
The division bench comprising acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar passed the interim order on a PIL filed in 2018 jointly by Dattatraya T Devare and the Bangalore Environment Trust.
The petitioners had complained that the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) had not conducted public consultations before felling trees. They had preyed to the court to direct authorities to carry out their duties in letter and spirit of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976, and the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Rules, 1977.
Meanwhile, members of the citizen group United Conservation Movement met BMRCL Director Ajay Seth, requesting him to tweak the plan to build two metro stations at Vellara Junction for the Gottigere-Nagavara metro line, Phase 2. Eighty trees are to be cut down to build these two stations.
Security beefed up in the city
Security has been heightened in the city after the Sri Lanka blasts. City police commissioner T Suneel Kumar, on Thursday, met over 300 people managing various places of worship, hotels, malls, transport corporations and civic agencies, to evaluate safety measures. He told them to install surveillance cameras and to hold security checks including baggage scanning, in sync with the Karnataka Public Safety (Measures) Enforcement Act, 2017.
Key spots under high alert in Karnataka include Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, KRS Dam, Brindavan Gardens and other spots. Karnataka State Industrial Security Force, along with the state police force, has been deployed to provide security to KRS Dam site.
Since KIA is on high alert, passenger security screening here may take more time. Airport operator Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) tweeted, “A high security alert at the airport might mean some additional wait time, queues and delays. We are working hard to ensure your safety. Do plan your travel accordingly. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.” The airport is on high alert based on a pan-India notice issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in March, according to the BIAL spokesperson.
HC stays elevated corridor project
Work on the elevated corridor project has been halted, after the Karnataka High Court passed an interim order on Friday to stay the finalising of project tender. Even if the tender is finalised, no work on the project can proceed till June 3rd, ruled the court.
The interim order was passed by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice P S Dinesh Kumar. The order was in response to an application filed by the Namma Bengaluru Foundation and the Citizens Action Forum, complaining that the state was going ahead with the project without the approval of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC).
The petitioners had filed their case in 2014, questioning the finalisation of the city’s Revised Master Plan-2035 without BMPC’s approval. They had pointed out that undertaking development projects without BMPC’s approval would adversely effect Bengaluru’s planned development.
Source: The Hindu
NLSIU students reel under academic stress
Academic stress is affecting the mental health of students at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), as per a report by the university’s Student Bar Association (SBA). At present, there are only 58 fifth-year students here. This is a drop from the 80 students who had joined this batch in the first year.
Two of the 80 students had allegedly ended their lives and five had dropped out, while 14 others had lost a year. SBA plans to lobby with the university management for better mental health facilities, for changing the academic structure to ensure that students get promoted annually etc.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]