Thursday, May 28, 2009

More trees face the BBMP axe

More trees face the BBMP axe

The Palike seems least concerned about public opinion as it begins axing trees despite objections

Vaishalli Chandra. Bangalore

Trees at the CNR Rao circle now face the axe, as BBMP decides to go ahead with the proposed felling of trees. This, even as objections keep piling up in their offices
However the BBMP couldn't be less concerned about public opinion. Less than a fortnight back, they issued a public notice announcing their plan to fell 120 trees at Professor CNR Rao circle, asking people to file objections, if any.
Concerned citizens who noticed the advertisement responded within the given 'one week' deadline. However, they haven't heard from the authorities. To their surprise, even as they waited for BBMP's response to their objections, tree felling on Professor CNR Rao circle kick-started.
When the greens contacted MR Suresh, KFS, Asst. Conservator of Forests and Tree Officer, Bangalore (North), he agreed that he had given permission for the tree-felling, even though they had not replied to any objections. DNA tried calling him repeatedly, but he could not be reached.
Felling of trees is against the Tree Act and thus the High Court's decision. If the Tree Act provisions are followed, the process of replying to objections takes at least a month or more.
When greens contacted Suresh's superior, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Bangalore North), BBMP, Hubert, he claimed that he had nothing to do with this decision. He also confirmed that the decision to fell trees was taken by Suresh much prior to the issue of the advertisements.
Speaking to DNA, Hubert confirmed that the decisions were taken by Suresh. However, he added, "We are also planting saplings for every tree that we cut. Why can't these activists come up with some concrete suggestions along with their objections?"


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