BANGALORE: Mayor B S Sathyanarayana on Monday held the middle-class and the commercial establishments responsible for the rampant tree felling in the city.
“With rapid urbanisation and increasing apartments in the city, the middle-class people are cutting trees to make space for their cars. Commercial establishments, too, cut trees to accommodate their business interests,” Sathyanarayana alleged. He was speaking at a programme held to mark World Environment Day and distribute Environment Awards. The event was organised by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the Forest, Environment and Ecology Department.
Mayor Takes on Forest Dept
On the occasion, the Mayor publicly blamed officials of the BBMP’s Forest Department for cutting trees indiscriminately.
“There are 40 Forest Department officials deputed in BBMP and we don’t know what they are doing. Trees are being cut at once and we are forced to domesticate them,” he said, while Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai listened.
“We only need one official from the Forest Department to issue permits for cutting only those trees that are causing problems. Please withdraw the remaining officials,” he told the minister. In reply, Rai said: “We send our officials to many departments. Once they are with you, the responsibility of ensuring how they work and what they do lies with you. Send them back to us if you’ve got problems”.
Rai added that the government will give more power to the Lake Development Authority and also devise new programmes for rejuvenation of lakes in the city.
‘Garbage Collection Top-notch’
Maintaining that the garbage collection system in the city is excellent, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana said the problem lies in the final stage. “We don’t know what to do once the garbage is collected and transported. The government should have given us new land to dump garbage, but we’re helpless. Children in Mandur study inside mosquito nets and so do people when they eat,” he said. He sought the Forest Department’s and the KSPCB’s cooperation on the four new garbage processing plants.
Environment Award Recipients
Writer Dr Vasundhara Bhupati
Govt PU College (Suntikoppa) Science teacher T J Premkumar
B D Nemagowda of Govt Kannada Girls Higher Primary School (Jamkhandi)
Parisara Samrakshana Okkoota (Channapatna)
Forest Committee (Husooru)
Vanasiri Grameena Abhivrudhi Samsthe (Bidar)