Translocation of 7095 trees at KIA – Bengaluru

Translocation of 7095 trees at KIA – Bengaluru

Translocation of 7095 trees at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru takes place as part of the ongoing Rs.13,000 crore infrastructure upgrade of the airport.  This is part of the opening of the terminal 2.

The land surrounding the new runway will be covered with greenery making the KIA, first in India and only third in the world to have green corridors around the runway.

BIAL/KIA Terminal 2 :

Kempegowda International Airport is all set to open the second runway very soon.  The airport  registered a double digit growth of 28.1 per cent in passenger traffic in the second quarter of FY19.

During the three-month period, ending September 30, 2018, 8.13 million passengers travelled through BIAL as against 6.35 million passengers during the corresponding period of previous financial year.

The quarter also saw an increase of 30.5 per cent domestic and 13.8 per cent in international passengers year on year.

Phase wise translocation :

The trees will be translocated on phase wise manner.   A total of 1285 trees and plants will be  translocated in the 1st phase.  The rest of the trees and plants will be translocated over the next 2 years.

The BIAL has engaged the Institute of Wood Science and Technology and Volvo to provide solution scientifically.

The first phase started in March and will continue till August.  The first phase will cover a stretch of 4 Kms.

Terminal in a garden :

According to Tom Shimmin, Chief Projects Office for BIAl, “the objective is to avoid felling of trees and instead relocate them to a place where they can further improve the aesthetics of the airport.  All this is to ensure that the landscape is in sync with our garden-themed Terminal2”.

To provide an “immersive garden experience” and in keeping with Bengaluru’s ‘Garden city’ name Bial has announced a series of initiatives.  Among them is the translocation of plants and trees that come in the way of expansion.

The Rs.13,000 crore infrastructure development with the landscape will amalgamate with the new terminal designed to be a ‘Terminal in a Garden’.

Survival of trees after translocation :

Till date the thousand odd trees that have been transplanted since March 2019 have seen a survivability rate of 85%.  The BIAL has tied up with the Government run Indian Institute of Science and automobile major Volvo for this initiative.

Automobile major Volvo is providing hardware including its special tree transplanter truck.

Till date thousand odd tress have been transplanted has shown signs of survivability with a rate of 85%.

Some of the tree species which have shown positive success rate are coconut, silver oak,palms, cycads and rain trees.

Process of Translocation :

A statement by Prasannamurti Desai, Vice-President of landscaping at airport said, “we are able to translocate as many as 18 trees in a single day starting from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm using mechanized translocator.    All these trees are either translocated to a pre-defined suitable spot or otherwise preserved in the nursery until a suitable spot is made ready”.

The process involves traditional methods for trees with a girth of above 45 inches and less than 6 inches.  Using the conventional method, the process takes around three months as it requires adequate care and protection.

By following scientific methods of translocation, the trees will be uprooted from their original location.  The trees will be replanted in selected areas – without damaging its roots.  The tree-transplanter is capable of translocating around 17 larges trees in a day.

Steps followed during translocation :

There are steps involved in translocating trees.  First step involves pre-assessment to check if the tree is healthy.  Once the tress is identified for transloction, water loss is minimized through methods of trenching and shaping the root ball.  Important roots are pruned during transplanting.

Once the root is wrapped, it is kept moist and tightly secured to prevent it from breaking. The trees will be lifted through the barrel strap technique to their new home after which post-monitoring will be done. 

Terminal 2 – a forest belt :

The new terminal is being operational this year and will have a three story “forest belt”.  The idea is to create an immersive, calming outdoor experience for both arrival and departure passengers.  Trees, small gardens and pods feature local and exotic species of plants adore the interior.

The land which is surrounding the new runway will be covered with lush greenery. 

Cost of translocation of trees :

BIAL will be shelling out around Rs.2.5 crore to translocate thousands of trees.  infrastructural development has been taken up at the airport at a cost of Rs.13000 crore.  There will be a greener landscape to amalgamate with the new terminal. 

The new terminal is designed to be a terminal in a garden. 

Diversion of traffic :

Vehicles which are heading from the Trumpet interchange to the terminal area of the KIA will be diverted.  The diversion is through a new access road from next week.

The BIAL is expanding the work with construction of additional roads to meet the increasing vehicle traffic.

The road expansion work will be taken up in a phased manner.  This includes widening of the main access road to 10 lanes (5+5) from the existing 4 lanes (2+2).

Bengaluru International Airport’s main access road will be closed from June 10 as part of road widening. 4-lane roads will make way to 10-lane roads (5 on each side) by early 2021, @BLR Airport officials say. Below is the new route map.

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