Lokayukta takes notice of trees poisoned to show billboards

Lokayukta takes notice of trees poisoned to show billboards

The Lokayukta has sought reports from BBMP, BDA and police officials on the poisoning of trees on the Outer Ring Road in Marathahalli and near Mahadevapura police station.

Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty took action following a complaint by one Saidatta that the trees were poisoned and later pruned only to ensure clear visibility to advertisement hoardings. He also directed the officials to take action against those responsible.

The complaint quoted newspaper reports about the trimming of trees that came in the way of advertisement hoardings. “The allegations made in the complaint are of very serious nature. It is needless to point out that protection of trees is the duty of the administration and more particularly of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Forest Department. It is also the duty of the police to find out the culprits. The allegations made in the complaint prima facie fall within the definition of maladministration set out in section 3 (1) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act,” the Lokayukta stated.

The notice issued to senior officials of the BBMP, the BDA and the police commissionerate said the newspaper report carrying the photograph of the pruning of a tree established that it was done to clear obstructions to advertisement hoardings. The complaint had stated that 17 trees were poisoned by injecting acids in Marathahalli. Similarly, at least 15 trees were injected with acid and later pruned near Mahadevapura police station.
The Lokayukta has directed the additional chief secretary of Urban Development Department, the BBMP commissioner, the BDA commissioner, the Bengaluru police commissioner and the head of the forest division in the BBMP to submit the reports by April 12, 2017.

The notice also directed responsible officers to appear before the Lokayukta at the next date of hearing.