Court slams Palike over tree census delay

Court slams Palike over tree census delay

As per the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, the tree census has to be conducted and all trees must be recorded.

Observing the inordinate delay in the commencement of the tree census across Bengaluru, the Karnataka High Court expressed displeasure over Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) that were chosen to carry out the ambitious census.

Hearing a public interest litigation filed by Dattatreya T Devare and Bengaluru Environment Trust (BET), the divisional bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay S Oka noted that the agencies have run out of deadlines set by both the court and BBMP. "Yet, there is no sign of commencement of the tree census," the bench recorded.

Referring to the provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, the bench said, "As per the section 7(B) of the Act, the tree census has to be conducted and all trees must be recorded as per the law. The court order was also self-explanatory in nature. But why did the BBMP and IWST agree to count only the roadside trees? Why didn’t these organisations fail to understand the court's order and rules under the Act?"

Expressing displeasure over the officials' action, the bench ordered the BBMP and IWST to submit a detailed report on where the officials went wrong, corrective measures taken up to address the fault and future course of action by the next hearing. The bench adjourned the matter to February 11 for further hearing.

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