Activists call for halting KBR Park tunnel feasibility studies, allege major threat to park

The activists explained that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has, without conducting an impact assessment, declared that the underground tunnel is safe and will have no impact on KBR park’s environment, flora, and fauna.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  13 May 2022 9:50 AM GMT
Activists call for halting KBR Park tunnel feasibility studies, allege major threat to park

Hyderabad: A group of climate change campaigners and activists have written to the Telangana forest department raising objections to the tunnel feasibility studies in Kasu Brahmananda Reddy (KBR) Park.

The activists explained that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has, without conducting an impact assessment, declared that the underground tunnel is safe and will have no impact on KBR park's environment, flora, and fauna.

The activists explained that the feasibility studies entail the removal of trees, drilling of a multitude of holes, heavy vehicle movement deep inside the park, frequent and noisy human movement disturbing the ecology and wildlife, emission of dust, and air pollution. Access to the core of KBR Park, in the name of the feasibility study, to men and machines, is likely to cause a massive and debilitating impact on the park and its environs, they stated. They have demanded the forest department and State Wildlife Board immediately halt all activities of GHMC or a firm contracted by it, including a feasibility study for a road tunnel project under KBR Park.

"Tender notification gives a map and alignment of the 10-km road tunnel inside KBR Park. It passes deep and across KBR Park. The feasibility study itself is a major threat to the park. The road tunnel project, if constructed, can destroy the environment further. This tender notification should be withdrawn immediately and any related contracts should be cancelled forthwith," the activists said.

They also demanded the forest department commission an environmental impact assessment of KBR Park with a term of reference that includes the impacts of concretisation, continuous vehicular movement, air pollution, rumblings from human-related activities, continuous blasting, construction, repairs, and other activities within a radius of 5 km.

KBR Park provides ecological services, including microclimate maintenance, open lung space, space for water harvesting, and a carbon sink. "Destroying this pristine park can have irreversible impacts on more than 5 lakh population, while the road expansion can, at the most, benefit a clutch of 10,000 luxury cars," they noted.

The activists requested the forest department to take necessary action and explained that the principal objective of KBR Park is to preserve sensitive wildlife and green vegetation from the debilitating threats of human interference. KBR Park tunnel feasibility study and various steps that are part of that study have a huge potential to impact the park severely, they said.

The group that drafted the demands comprise public policy expert and climate change campaigner Dr. Narasimha Reddy, Kaajal Maheshwari, Major (veteran) Sandeep Khurana, Sree Harsha of Rythu Swarajya Vedika, Sriparna Dash, and Ambica Srimal.

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