BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner’s decision to curtail the powers of the forest wing with regard to oversight of tree management teams is likely to create confusion, especially during emergencies. It could also cause inconvenience to people as there may be delays in clearing uprooted trees.
In an internal communication, the Special Commissioner (Projects), on May 31, brought all tree management teams under the supervision of joint commissioners or chief engineers. The teams were earlier under the control of Assistant Conservators of Forests attached to the local body.
BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, on May 25, took a decision to bring the tree management teams under their control, accusing forest authorities of failing to quickly remove trees that were uprooted in the city due to the recent rain.
A forest officer said that ACFs are the tree authorities and hence, tree management teams should work under them. He said although only one team works at night, they worked overnight to remove around 260 trees that fell due to rain in the four BBMP zones alone.
“It requires labour and time. It is not so easy as operating a remote control. Hence, curtailing the powers of forest officers without understanding the ground reality will only demoralise them,” the official said.
Further, he contended that the commissioner’s action will result in confrontation and affect the public at large during rain. “We regularly receive public complaints seeking removal of trees for various reasons, besides removing uprooted trees/branches during rain. Now, we have to wait till the joint commissioners/chief engineers send tree management teams,” the official said.
Commissioner Manjunath Prasad was not available for comment.