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Church set to become dumpyard in Bengaluru, trees to be axed

By Anuj Cariappa

Bengaluru, June 24: The All Saints Church premises on Richmond Road saw the participation of over 100 citizens from across the city onn Sunday morning to protest and to protect scores of old trees, around 300 members of the church along with activists came together to protest against Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for using the church premises for the construction of the Metro.

Church set to become dumpyard in Bengaluru, trees to be axed

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) is taking over a portion of the church land for the construction of the underground station at Vellara Junction, as part of the Gottigere - Nagawara line. Though BMRCL has assured the church of returning the land after the construction of the underground station, protesters alleged that the existing children's home and an old age home on campus would have to be demolished. They also claimed that the land would not be able to bear any more trees.

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According to TOI, KS Franklin, Church member and activist, said, "BMRCL had approached the church for 200 sq mt of land for the Metro project but the church gave 3,800 sq m to BMRCL. Now the BMRCL wants temporary acquisition of land that has more than 180 trees, which are 150 years old and they plan to cut these trees to use the land as storage/dump yard for five years and return the land to the church after it. We are against this proposition when they can acquire barren Defence land that is right across the church instead."

The protesters, who included members of the congregation of All Saints Church, also took out a rally from the church to St. Joseph's College of Commerce. They have urged BMRCL to alter the plan and ensure that no trees, some of which are older than the church, are felled.

Meanwhile, an official from the church, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that BMRCL had approached them with the detailed project report (DPR), and sought a portion of the campus for a period of two years. They also claimed that no part of the church would be demolished or affected by the underground work.

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