Wednesday, Aug 13, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
At the BMP Council meeting, he said the census would be conducted with the help of a private agency, and the Rs. 45-lakh Hasiru Bangalore drive was being executed in a systematic manner this year.
He was replying to complaints from the Janata Dal (S) member, B.R. Nanjundappa, that tree felling was rampant in the city and the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. and the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company were trimming tree branches to avoid contact with overhead power lines.
Mr. Nanjundappa wanted to know what action the BMP initiated against owners of sites who cut trees before construction of houses. "What is the BMP doing to restore the degrading green cover in the city,'' he asked. He urged the Mayor, C.M. Nagaraj, to direct the Forest Department not to permit citizens to fell trees without consulting the BMP.
The corporators, cutting across party lines, were also upset over the "poor" survival rate of saplings planted by the BMP last year.
Alleging irregularities in the execution of Hasiru Bangalore drive, they said most of the saplings wilted as they were not watered regularly. The tree guards erected to protect them were either stolen or had fallen down.
P.R. Ramesh, former Works Committee Chairman, said it was ridiculous that saplings were planted in the same locations every year. Details about the number of saplings planted and the surviving ones were not available.
The Deputy Commissioner (Development II), K.R. Niranjan, said over 70 per cent of the 18,900 saplings planted last year survived.
Noting that a tree census had not been taken up so far, Mr. Niranjan said some trees withered because of contact with overhead power lines.
As the corporators disputed the statement, Mr. Murthy intervened in the discussion, and said the BMP was executing the programme in a systematic manner this year. ``We have conducted a survey to find out the number of saplings to be planted on each street in a ward. We have details regarding which species should be planted in a given area,'' he said.
Giving statistics, he said the survey revealed that 25,543 saplings needed to be planted all over the city. Unlike last year, the saplings would be looked after properly, he added.
The BJP Floor Leader, B.S. Satyanarayana, wanted the BMP to grow trees with medicinal value in parks, as people preferred them to other species.
The Mayor said the programme would be executed in consultation with the corporators, residential associations, and the NGOs.
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