Friday, July 17, 2009

Bengaluru loses count of its trees

Bengaluru loses count of its trees

July 17th, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Bengaluru
July 16: Bengaluru may be called the Garden City, but neither BBMP nor the forest department has a database on the number of trees in the city or what species they belong to, according to Mahalakshmipuram legislator N.L. Narendra Babu. They also have no idea about the number of healthy trees that have been cut down for various infrastructure projects, he claims.
An initiative started by the erstwhile Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BMP) and the people of the city in 2006 to keep a count of trees, has remained incomplete, says the legislator.
A pilot tree census project was started in Malleswaram (ward number 7) by the BMP forest department wing in 2006 and was to be extended to the rest of the 99 wards later, but this was not done, according to him.
Mr h is earmarked in the BBMP budget every year for the purpose, it is not utilised as it should be, leaving the BBMP with a database of the number of trees cut in government premises, but not on private land.
“If a tree survey is conducted, some indigenous trees which are helpful to the environment could be planted in place of the trees that have been axed for infrastructure projects,” he adds, explaining that the exhaustive tree survey started in 2006 was also aimed at keeping a tab on illegal tree felling. The tree survey was done by a botanist, a student volunteer and BBMP officials.
While the student and BMP helpers measured the girth of the trees and the road on which they were situated, the botanist identified the species.
The trees were to be numbered with yellow paint after being covered under the census, he adds.

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