Minister Bayraktar approves ODTÜ tunnel plan

Minister Bayraktar approves ODTÜ tunnel plan

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Minister Bayraktar approves ODTÜ tunnel plan

DHA Photo

Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar has approved a two-kilometer-long tunnel project that is planned to be built under the grounds of the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus as part of a controversial highway plan, according to his ministry.

The Environment Ministry said in a statement that Minister Bayraktar had approved the construction plan which covers a 4,085-hectare area, encompassing the ODTÜ campus and surrounding forest areas, and Eymir Lake to the south.

The opinions of Culture Assets Board and Foundations Board and Natural Assets Commission were also solicited, and the tunnel that will be built in the eastern part of ODTÜ’s campus will not damage the ecological environment of plants and trees, said the statement. The two-kilometer-long tunnel will cost around 100 million Turkish Liras to complete.

Bayraktar said it would be the first tunnel inside the city in Ankara, according to a statement.
“There is no such tunnel in Ankara. The campus unity and trees in ODTÜ will not be damaged. We have written all these into the plan,” Bayraktar was quoted as saying in the ministry’s document.

“We have taken the environmental sensitivities into consideration. We took the opinions of forest engineers. The road that will cross over the land is at the eastern border of the campus, which is almost tangent to the border. There are trees which have completed their end of life cycle. Ankara Municipality promises to move most of the trees there and will plant them instead […] this issue is resolved with an agreement between the Ankara Greater Municipality and ODTÜ,” said Bayraktar.

The Ankara Municipality’s road project had caused huge indignation, leading the students take action.

Protesters opposing the construction of the road project connecting Anadolu Boulevard with Konya Highway staged protests on the campus as well as across the city.