Roads a bit safer as dry trees are felled

A tree branch which fell on a bus bay at Jayanagar 9th Block

Following recent accidents due to fallen tree branches in Hosur Road and Hebbal Ring Road after summer showers, the BBMP Forest Department has swung into action.

The department has uprooted 615 dry trees and trimmed 3037 unhealthy tree branches in the city.

The opposition slammed Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) forest officials during Saturday’s council meeting by presenting the list of fatal accidents caused by tree branches falling on the roads and urged them to take immediate action.

“We could not act before such accidents occurred in all the zones of the city as we were facing a shortage of staff. Now that we have been given 7 teams extra with a total of 21 teams operating in the city, we will ensure the old and dry trees are uprooted and unhealthy branches are removed as soon as possible,” said MK Cholarajappa, BBMP Deputy Conservator of Forest.

The uprooted trees will be transported to four depots located in various points of the city including Yelahanka and Kempapura where they will be auctioned. “We collected revenue of about 10 lakhs in the last one year after the auction of the felled trees and branches,” added Cholarajappa.

The Department officials also explained the challenges they face in handling the issue. “Everyday, around 30 people from various NGOs meet me in my office. They emphasise on not cutting the trees. Most of the times, our contractors encounter environmentalists opposing cutting of trees at various areas,” said Cholarajappa.

Forest officials also said they planted 75,000 trees last year. “We have called for tenders this year and the plantation work orders will be issued soon,” said Cholarajappa.

Opposition leaders in the council accused Cholarajappa of striking a deal with a contractor regarding fallen trees and branches.

Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun asked the absent DCF to inform the area corporator before felling the trees, avoid unauthorised tree felling and maintain transparency in the process.

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