Greens urge NHAI to change design of two flyovers between Nanthoor and KPT junctions to save trees

Assistant Conservator of Forests and Tree Officer P. Sridhar was presiding over a public hearing regarding the proposed felling of 232 trees for flyovers at KPT and Nantoor junctions in Mangaluru on Monday. , Photo credits: Raghav M.

Green activists and other residents of the city urged the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to consider changing the design of the two flyovers proposed at the city’s busy KPT and Nanthoor junctions at a public hearing here on Monday. This is to save over 200 trees from being cut for the construction of a service road on a 1.6 km long stretch between the two junctions on NH 66.

NHAI officials present in the hearing held at the Deputy Commissioner’s office said that the changes proposed by the activists would be considered if it falls within the project cost.

The Forest Department heard the proposal to cut 232 trees for two projects.

A file photo of Nanthoor Junction in Mangaluru.

A file photo of Nanthoor Junction in Mangaluru.

Kishore Attavar, an activist, said that the activists are not against the projects.

“We cannot assess the benefits of the trees proposed to be cut. Please consider alternative proposals that can save trees,” he said.

Assistant Conservator of Forests and Tree Officer P. Sridhar said that out of 602 trees in this area, 370 trees would be transplanted (reestablished). It is proposed to cut 232 trees.

“Out of 232 trees, 94 trees are of width between 30 to 60 cm, which can be transplanted. Only the remaining 138 trees need to be cut,” he said.

Shashidhar Shetty, convenor of the National Environment Care Federation, said that instead of a flyover, NHAI may consider building an underpass at KPT junction.

Activist Yatish Backampadi said they have alternative designs of the two flyovers, made by experts, that will cause minimal damage to trees.

Councilors Kadri Manohar Shetty, Jagdish Shetty and Shakeela Kava said that there is a dire need of flyovers at both the junctions for motorists.

The changes proposed by the activists should be considered at the earliest and should not become a reason for delay in starting the projects. The three councilors said that the work should be completed within a period of 18 months.

Anirudh Kamath, Assistant Executive Engineer, NHAI said that NHAI has proposed to construct a flyover at KPT Junction connecting Circuit House and KPT.

The flyover at Nantoor Junction will connect Kadri Mallikatta to Bikarnakatte.

NH 66 will pass under the flyover at two junctions. The carriageway of NH will be 10.5 meters wide on both sides of the middle. It will have 7 meter wide service roads which will be connected to the city roads.

Mr. Kamath said that the changes proposed by the activists would be considered if it comes under the project cost. He said that the work of flyover and service road would begin after felling of trees and shifting of utility lines.

The hearing was attended by Project Director, NHAI Mangaluru Office, Abdullah Javed Azmi, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Geeta Kulkarni.