The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which promises to plant two saplings for every tree it cuts, has not planted a single sapling for over a year.
Every year, the BBMP fells at least 5,000 trees, citing road widening, besides Metro, underpass and flyover projects.
Brijesh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests under the BBMP, admits more than 5,000 trees were cut in 2013-14, but says no money has come in to plant saplings.
The Forest Department attached to the BBMP had decided to plant 1.7 lakh saplings this year, but its hands are tied, according to Kumar.
Planting of saplings begins in June or July, but the BBMP released a small amount in November last year. “If we plant saplings in that season, they won’t grow. Saplings rot in the rain and die,” said an official.
In November, the BBMP had only released 13 per cent of the earmarked amount.
Kumar also said the sharp rise in temperature is due to the lack of green cover.
No Funds for Greening
This is how the BBMP is short-changing annual projects to plant saplings and maintain trees.
Recently, the BBMP marked 338 big trees for felling. It had launched a soaking pit project to enable trees to absorb water and manure, but that has gone nowhere in two years. Contractors have concreted footpaths mindlessly, closing the earthen space trees need to take the water. Trees planted on the road from High Grounds police station to the Cantonment railway station are collapsing one after the other as they get no nourishment.