• Green panel clears ToR for Rs 224 cr road project in Karnataka

    To improve road connectivity, an expert panel of the Union Environment Ministry has cleared the terms of reference (ToR) for the Rs 224 crore state highway upgradation project from Kollegal in Karnataka’s Chamarajanagar district to Tamil Nadu border.

    State-run implementing agency Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP) has proposed improvement of 95 km length of state highway-79 from Hanur to Tamil Nadu border, including connectivity from Palar to Hoganakkal falls.

    The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Environment Ministry recently examined the Karnataka government’s proposal.

    “The Committee, after detailed deliberations, recommended the proposal for grant of ToRs for the said road project and for preparation of EIA/EMP reports after public consultation,” a senior government official said.

    ToRs are guidelines for conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies of projects, based on which EAC recommends or rejects environment clearances to the project.

    After EAC’s recommendation, the Environment Ministry grants or rejects green clearance to a project.

    As per the proposal, the KSHIP has reduced total length of the project road from 119 km to 95 km. Out of it, 81.78 km of road stretch passes via two wildlife sanctuaries–Malai Mahadeshwara and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

    The cost of the proposed road project is estimated to be Rs 224 crore.

    The state government has informed the EAC that it wants to first develop existing road from Kollegal to Hannur covering a length of 24 km on a priority basis because of public pressure for development of this stretch which is located outside the forest and wildlife sanctuary area. Jason Williams Jersey

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