Tree census to finally take off this year

The much-delayed tree census in Bengaluru is finally to take off this year. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has earmarked Rs 2 crore for the project in the approved BBMP Budget 2019.

The project will be handed over to the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) on the recommendation of the corporators.

The census aims to collect data on the number and kinds of trees in each ward. The project will provide the authorities baseline data of green cover, tree diversity, and list and location of trees that require attention. It can also help identify the allocation of budgets for future plantation and maintenance of trees.

In 2016, Rs 4 crore was allocated to conduct the census. But was abandoned due to a shortage of staff. This year, the Palike has prepared an action plan for the census, which the government is yet to approve.

Earlier, NGOs, students from forestry science and techies volunteered to participate in the census. However, they did not meet the required conditions. The corporators wanted the project to be handed over to the IWST, which had previously approached the civic body in this respect.

Speaking to DH, M K Cholarajappa, Deputy Conservator of Forest, BBMP Forest Cell said: "The IWST has sent us the willingness letter to conduct the tree census, and we are interested in it. Meantime, the commissioner has also written a letter in this regard to the IWST."

"Soon, the IWST will send us the quotation and specification about the methods involved in the census. Once we receive the quotation from them, we will hand over the work to them," he said.

"Now the BBMP has earmarked Rs 2 crore for tree census that has already been approved by the state cabinet. Thus this will not be delayed this time," Cholarajappa added.

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