An Urgent Appeal to Help Verify Claims of BBMP about Tree Planting in Bangalore City :

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An
Urgent Appeal to Help Verify Claims of BBMP about Tree Planting in
Bangalore City

On 21st April 2014,
the Counsels of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP: Greater
Bangalore City Corporation) placed before the Hon’ble Chief Justice
Mr. D. H. Waghela and Justice Mrs. B. V. Nagarathna a compilation of
tree planting activities in Bangalore. The document claims that
during the years 2007-2013, the forest wing of the BBMP has planted
10,75,388 trees in the city and that on an average (across 6 years)
63.5% of the saplings have survived.

The
document was supplied as part of the suo moto proceedings
initiated by the Hon’ble High Court in Writ Petition 7288/2011,
responding to concerns over mass tree felling in Bangalore raised by
Justice D. V. Shylendra Kumar who was Judge of the Karnataka High
Court (now retired). This petition is being heard in
connection with Environment Support Group’s PIL (W.P. No. 7107/2008)
that challenges road widening as being illegal, causing mass felling
of trees (the living heritage of Bangalore), resulting in massive
displacement of residential and commercial communities and
jeopardising the rights of pedestrians, cyclists, differently abled,
street vendors, etc.

The
document on tree planting by BBMP provides various details of the
number of saplings planted in almost every neighborhood across the
city. Details of the streets, neighborhoods and localities where
planting has taken place has been provided.

The
Hon’ble High Court will continue hearing these matters on Friday,
25th April 2014. Prior to this we would need to verify
the claims of tree planting made by BBMP. Considering the scale and
spread of the exercise, it would be impossible for a small group that
we are to undertake this exercise in a couple of days. However, we
are confident that with the enthusiastic response of the residents of
Bangalore, it is certainly possible to verify the claims of BBMP.

What
we need Bangaloreans to do:

Please
download the document accessible at ESG’s website (www.esgindia.org).
It has many sheets providing details of trees planted in different
divisions. Pick one or more rows from any of these sheets that
provides details of the number of trees planted and that have
survived: in a neighborhood or locality or street. Count all trees
that appear to be 6 years or younger. A thumb rule is to measure at
chest height – 4.5 feet from ground – the circumference of the
tree and it would be approximately 12 inches or less. Once you
complete your count, please email your report to shashi@esgindia.org
with the subject:
Bangalore
Tree Count
(Its
important you retain this subject). Your report should
provide
accurate details of the particular rows from the document you
verified and how many young trees you found in that particular
street, neighborhood, etc. Please also provide your full name,
address and contact details.

We
need this information latest by noon of Thursday, 24
th
April, giving us sufficient time to compile and present the findings
to the Court. This could be a fun and healthy exercise for all.
Please note that your assistance could go a long way in making
Bangalore the greenest city in India, once more.

Thank
you for your cooperation and support.


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