BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) might soon face the wrath of the Karnataka High Court as it has yet again delayed starting the tree census. On November 14, the High Court had directed the BBMP to start the tree census within 14 days, failing which it will face contempt of court proceedings.
In the wake of increasing felling of trees and considering BBMP’s laxity to protect trees in the city, the court had pulled up the civic body and directed it to carry out a tree census. However, the BBMP had informed the court that since they are short-staffed and have limited resources, the Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) will conduct the census for them.
IWST said that it can start the survey within 10 days of getting a written work order from the BBMP. Unfortunately, no work order has been issued so far. “There has still been no communication from the BBMP. We are waiting for the permission to start the exercise. We are aware of the deadline and the court orders, but until the BBMP gives its clearance, nothing can be done,” IWST Director M P Singh said.
On BBMP’s request, IWST had agreed to conduct tree census in the city, but as a research project. The BBMP is to pay Rs 4.32 crore for three years of the census.
A senior BBMP official said: “The ball was in the state government’s court. Since IWST has proposed to do the census as a research project, there is no need to call for tenders. We are seeking exemption from the government on this. But the chief minister and the Finance Department is yet to give clearance for tender exemption.”