Man’s death renews demand for tree census in city

A file photo of a crashed tree in Bengaluru.

A file photo of a crashed tree in Bengaluru.  


He died when a tree branch fell on him; BBMP to sign an MoU with Institute of Wood Science Technology for the survey

Ineffectual pruning of tree branches has claimed a man’s life in the city. On Thursday, a man was grievously injured in Jayanagar when a tree branch fell on him. The victim, identified as Murugan, aged around 50, later succumbed to his injuries.

Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy took to Twitter and urged Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar and the Mayor to trim dead branches of trees.

The BBMP is yet to collate data on Bengaluru’s trees. “The civic body has to aggressively identify old trees, dead wood, and diseased trees, and prune them to ensure that such incidents do not occur,” said Ms. Reddy, while underscoring the need for tree wardens be appointed. “The BBMP’s forest cell is severely understaffed,” she said. The demand for a tree census is not new. The BBMP had decided to undertake the exercise in 2015 and had even set aside ₹4 crore. But it never took off.

High Court directive

Earlier this year, the High Court of Karnataka, while hearing a petition filed by Bangalore Environment Trust, had directed the BBMP to take up a tree census. The court also directed the State government, the BBMP, BMRCL, Bescom, and other agencies to set up a committee comprising experts from the fields of environment, science and technology, among others.

When contacted, Mr. Anil Kumar said the civic body would be signing a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Wood Science Technology (IWST). While admitting that there had been a delay in taking up the exercise, he said the civic body and the IWST had recently arrived at a consensus on the terms of the MoU. “A three-year survey will begin soon after the MoU is signed, which likely to happen after Dasara,” he said.

Environmentalist Vijay Nishanth echoed Ms. Reddy’s view on the need for a tree census. “As part of Vrusksha Foundation, we undertook a survey in Pattabhiramanagar ward. We have plotted nearly 4,000 trees of more than 20 species on the GPS map. This can be scaled up. A similar exercise has been taken up in Jayanagar East and Jakkur wards,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:09:36 PM |

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