'BBMP contractors must ensure saplings survive'

'BBMP contractors must ensure saplings survive'

'BBMP contractors must ensure saplings survive'

The High Court on Thursday said BBMP contractors involved in planting of saplings will also have to maintain and monitor them for a period of three years, besides replacing dead saplings, if any, with new ones.

However, these conditions will come into effect only from March next year, as contracts for 2014-2015 have already been awarded.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri passed the order while hearing a suo motu PIL about unbridled felling of trees and survival of saplings in the City.

The Bench in its order said the BBMP should make payments to contractors in instalments and carry out the work in a systematic and scientific manner. The final instalment shall be released only after the survival of saplings is monitored for three years.

The order said felling of trees should be undertaken as an ‘exception rather than a rule’. The tree officer and the tree authority should be fully satisfied after considering the alternatives regarding the feasibility of the felling of trees. If any objections are received from the public, due consideration should be given by assigning reasons.

In the previous hearings, the BBMP was directed to upload details of plantation of saplings on their official website, the names of contractors, number of saplings planted in each zone, etc.

The bench had also directed the Palike to reconstitute the tree authority comprising persons independent of the BBMP so that justice could be done to the existing trees and saplings.

The suo motu PIL was taken up following a letter by Justice D V Shylendra Kumar who had expressed his concern over the unregulated felling of trees in the garb of development and road widening in the City.