The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike plans to enhance transparency in its decision-making process related to planting, management and felling of trees within its limits.
Speaking at a talk themed ‘The Future of Tree Protection in Karnataka - With Specific Emphasis on Tree Protection in Urban Areas’ at St Joseph’s College, Lalbagh Road, on Tuesday, BBMP Chief Conservator of Forests Brijesh Kumar agreed that there is a need to initiate changes to the existing Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976.
Pointing to the limitations in the existing law, he said that it essentially ensures a secretive bilateral process without any opportunity to raise objection.
“What we need is transparency in the whole decision-making process. Hence, we want to introduce online facilities such as applying, tracking one’s files, filing objections, etc. There is a plan to allow 15 days’ gap between the day of submitting application and taking a decision and also from the day a decision is taken till its implementation. This will allow citizens to file their objections, if any,” he added.
Hoping that the plan can be introduced by May-end, he said, “Last year, we received nearly 3,000 applications, but we have only 22 personnel to manage. It is a difficult task as we need to monitor nearly 822sqkm,” he said.
The event was jointly organised by Environment Support Group and Department of Environmental Science, St Joseph’s College, at the college auditorium.