Bangalore, Oct 12: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) forest wing, set up five years ago, has till date neither conducted a tree census nor come out with the list of decaying trees in the City.
With many old, decaying trees collapsing in the past months, this negligent attitude of the Palike has not only inconvenienced people and damaged properties but also caused serious threats to human life. For instance, recently, two cars were damaged when trees came crashing down on them in Indiranagar and Kempegowda Road. A woman was injured in the incident.
Former MLA N L Narendra Babu too was a victim in one such incident. “On September 15, a 100-year-old tree fell on the car I was travelling in. Luckily, I along with five people who were inside the car, escaped unhurt. I had to shell out Rs two lakh to repair my car,” he said.
Narendra Babu has written to BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana urging him to take action, conduct a survey and order the removal old trees that are on the verge of falling and causing damage to lives.
In another accident, Shravan Rayasam, asoftware professional riding a bike near Modi Hospital Road, suffered multiple fractures on his face when a huge Nilgiri tree branch fell on him. He had to shell out Rs five lakh to undergo facial and dental surgery.
“My husband was wearing a helmet and despite that he suffered injuries. The accident occurred in July but no BBMP official has visited us yet,” Rayasam’s wife Rashmi said.
When Deccan Herald called BBMP control rooms across eight zones, a staff from the control room of the Palike’s Central office said, “When we receive complaints, we ask the public to contact the Range Forest Officer (RFO) appointed at each of the Palike zones. The RFO later inspects the spot and takes action accordingly.”
Chief Conservator of Forests Brijesh Kumar said BBMP is unable to carry out a tree census due to shortage of staff. “We have only 14 members in our department. It will not take less than 10 years to complete the census as the Palike limit is vast. Moreover, it is difficult to predict which tree is old,” he said.
Deputy Conservator of Forests Kemparaju said there is a project proposal that aims to list out number of trees, their age and identify decaying ones. He added that once the BBMP Horticulture Standing Committee gives approval, the project will commence.