Piles of garbage dumped in Bannerghatta forest

Piles of garbage dumped in Bannerghatta forest

Bengalureans dump garbage everywhere, and protected reserve forest area is no exception.

Recently, a cleanliness drive carried out by the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) officials elicited as many as 15 truckloads of garbage — mainly plastic bottles, savoury wrappers and liquor bottles.

The drive was carried out in the forest range areas of Kalkere, Basavanapura, Gottigere and Weavers’ colony. The Wildlife SOS, too, had carried out a similar drive in Kodihalli, Kadushivanahalli and Bilikal forest areas during the Tiger day celebrations recently, where they cleared nearly two truckloads of garbage. 

Forest department officials say that the presence of many entry and exit points, proximity to villages and city, and a number of people entering without proper permits have aggravated dumping of waste in the forest area.

An official said that plastic covers, especially chips and other savoury wrappers, attract wildlife like deer, elephants and leopards. “It is very dangerous for these animals to consume entire plastic bags. We have found many plastic materials in elephant dung, which is a cause for concern. It is a major threat for the protection of wildlife,” he said.

The department official said that a major road next to the forest connects Bannerghatta to Kaggalipura where they have seen many commuters dumping waste. Besides this, there are many shops and hotels selling plastic material, which is brought into the forest unchecked.

Though there are stringent rules to penalise those who litter inside the forest, unless the offender is caught red-handed, the forest department is unable to monitor the dumping. The official said that recently, a person was fined Rs 25,000 for dumping waste in forest area.

Since Bannerghatta is in close proximity to many temples, there is a need to keep a tab on the use on fire and plastic during fairs in summer. 

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