BBMP assures HC of commencing tree census within one month

The exercise will be carried out by the Institute of Wood Science and Technology

Updated - October 11, 2019 08:07 am IST

Published - October 10, 2019 08:01 pm IST

A tree census is mandated by the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976.

A tree census is mandated by the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Thursday gave an undertaking to the Karnataka High Court that tree census would commence within one month through the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST), a wing of the Central government’s Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education.

A submission in this regard was made on behalf of the BBMP on Thursday afternoon after a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar warned of contempt proceedings against every member of the tree authority of Bengaluru district and the tree officer for failing to comply with its direction, issued in August this year, for commencing tree census within two weeks.

The court has been repeatedly expressing displeasure for not conducting tree census in the city from the past 43 years though the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976 mandated such an exercise.

BBMP counsel said that it would execute a memorandum of understanding with the IWST in this regard and the tree census would commence within one month from Thursday. BBMP counsel also told the bench that it would take about one year for completing the census. It has written to the State government seeking exemption to engage the service of the IWST without inviting a tender for conducting the census. The institute has indicated to the BBMP that it would cost about ₹4 crore to conduct the census.

The bench directed issue of notice to the IWST asking the institute to submit details of a phase-wise plan to conduct the tree census. Further hearing was adjourned till November 13 with the court telling the BBMP to submit a report on commencement of tree census.

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