Shorn of green cover, it's Paradise Lost in Garden City

Shorn of green cover, it's Paradise Lost in Garden City

Bangalore is no longer the Garden City. The City’s green cover has decreased over the years and re-plantation has also not been successful. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) forest wing did not plant a single sapling last year.

This year, the plantation was taken place but not where trees were axed for infrastructure works. According to BBMP officials, till July 26, 2014, over 48,000 saplings have been planted. This is much less than the target of 1.60 lakh.

Plantations have been on outer ring roads, outskirts and newly added CMC and TMC areas like Rajarajeshwarinagar, Yelahanka, Bommanahalli and Mahadevapura. The plantation season is during monsoon (June-August).

With just a month remaining, achieving target is difficult. Since no saplings were planted last year, that target has been carried forward.

Plantation did not happen last year because neither clearances came nor funds were released on time. The BBMP forest wing is given Rs 28-30 crore for plantation, of which only 13- 47 per cent is released.

Sources said that most of it has been utilised to pay bills pending of previous years for forestry and non-forestry works. The BBMP spent money on raising saplings in nurseries. From 2010-12, over seven lakh saplings were raised but none planted or used by other departments for plantation.

The maintenance cost of these saplings is yet to paid. It was stated in the legislature only 8,000 trees have been axed.

Officials maintained that this is all accounted information and there were many more trees axed and not accounted. During 2012, the BBMP had planted 1.7 lakh saplings. But no account of their condition has been maintained.

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