HC orders BBMP to take up tree census immediately

HC orders BBMP to take up tree census immediately

The high court on Tuesday asked the BBMP to take up a complete census of trees in the city.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by environmentalist T D Dattatreya and the Bangalore Environment Trust, the divisional bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay S Oka directed the BBMP to take up the census with immediate effect.

“Starting from Tuesday, the tree census shall be commenced within two weeks, besides setting up a committee of experts in a week’s time,” the bench directed.

The bench also observed, “At the outset, there is no proper maintenance of trees within the BBMP limits. Hence, more officials shall be appointed to assist forest officials,” the bench ordered.

In the meantime, the advocates appearing for the state government filed written objections pertaining to the case.

“A meeting of the Tree Authority was held on August 20 and the members deliberated on tree census and permission given to cut trees in the last two years,” the advocates stated while submitting facts and figures.

The bench adjourned the case to August 29.  

The petitioners had moved the high court seeking a direction to the government to conduct an overall census of trees and protection of flora.

Besides, it was also sought to set up a task force or a committee to safeguard and protect trees as per the Karnataka Tree Protection Rules-1977 and Section 8 (5) of the Karnataka Tree Protection Act 1976.