Friday, December 11, 2009

BBMP wakes up after 29 yrs

BBMP wakes up after 29 yrs
Bangalore, Dec 10, DH News Service:

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) might make it mandatory for people living on sites measuring 2,400 sq ft and above to plant a minimum of two saplings in their courtyard.

An existing law in this regard has not been enforced so far, but if the authorities’ appeal to plant saplings goes unheeded, penalties in the law may be invoked in order to force compliance.

However, what is surprising in the entire issue is that, while the order was issued by the Government in 1981, it was never enforced by the BBMP in the past 27 years. The order resurfaced and was issued again on November 2, 2009 by the BBMP. The forest department was unable to explain the non-enforcement of the order so far.

According to a Government Order issued under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act (KPTA) 1976, as per section 7, no FFD107/FTS 81, dated October 31 1981, a minimum number of saplings are to be planted by citizens under the BBMP jurisdiction. BBMP Conservator of Forest, Shantakumar said: “Now, we are issuing an appeal to citizens to plant saplings. In future, we may invoke the penalty clause if people do not adhere to them.” As per the penalty clause, the officials may file a case against people which shall include three month’s jail term and Rs 1,000 as fine.

The BBMP Forest Department has sent a letter to the Joint Town Planning Commissioners to incorporate the planting of saplings while approving fresh building plans in the City. “The JTPC and other town planning authorities under BBMP will henceforth have to incorporate the clause as per the GO issued while issuing fresh building plans,” said a Palike official.

The Act states: “Tree planting in housing sites may be made mandatory under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act 1976, while sanctioning the building plans from BBMP”.

The BBMP, in the first phase of the drive, will be making an appeal to citizens to plant saplings in their courtyards and backyards to boost the lung space in the City. “The plan to utilise the vacant sites will be taken up in a strict fashion to plant these saplings. This apart, the industrial areas will also be asked to plant saplings as per the order,” said Shantakumar.


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