Asked to prune it, BBMP staff chop whole tree

A BBMP Forest Cell official said the tree was axed following an application from Dhruv Kiran and after getting permission from the assistant conservator of forests (ACF). DH file photo

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has axed a full-grown tree after an influential person wanted the tree pruned.

Residents of Rajarajeshwari Nagar say that since January, the BBMP has felled at least 34 trees in the area to please some influential people. They claim that since the area is home to many influential people, the Palike has mercilessly felled trees for providing entrances, road widening and parking spaces.

Dhruv Kiran, the personal assistant to Bengaluru Development Minister K J George, on March 23 applied to the BBMP Forest Cell for pruning of branches of a 30-year-old tree.


Residents of Rajarajeshwari Nagar say that since January, the BBMP has felled at least 34 trees in the area to please some influential people.

The application was made for site number 414 on 3rd Cross Ideal Homes Colony. But the workers pruned it so badly that the tree had to be fully axed.

A BBMP Forest Cell official said the tree was axed following an application from Dhruv Kiran and after getting permission from the assistant conservator of forests (ACF).

Shantha Kumar, ACF, BBMP Forest Cell said permission was given only to prune the branches. "But during the process, the tree became unstable and had to be axed. There are over 2,000 applications pending with me and there are 198 wards to manage, it is not possible for me to inspect every spot. The application was from George's PA and it was speeded up," he said.

BBMP DCF Chola Raj blamed the workers for botching up the work and said it will be investigated.

Kiran said he had applied for pruning 30% of the branches for drilling a borewell.

When contacted, George, however, was quick to distance himself from the controversy saying he had nothing to do with the tree felling. "Kiran should answer and law should be obeyed,'' he said.

Police Refuse To Register FIR

 

On Wednesday, the locals approached the R R Nagar police to file a complaint. But when the police learnt that the case pertained to George's PA, no FIR was registered, said members of Save R R Nagar Environment Group.

The agitated residents staged a protest on Thursday outside the police station demanding an FIR be filed against the erring BBMP official and the workers.

"We want to know why the police are not filing an FIR. We have been taking care of the trees and an officer who has not visited the spot cannot give permission for felling trees. Locals should be consulted," said Priti N, member of Save R R Nagar Environment Group.

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