BBMP Commissioner said that the roots of the trees had weakened due to urbanisation.

Bengaluru rain uproots 135 trees BBMP admits to not have completed tree auditRepresentation photo
news Civic Issues Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 08:47

A weak eucalyptus tree fell on a car during the torrential rains in Bengaluru on Friday night and killed three people, and this has led the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike to admit that it did not conduct pre-monsoon tree audit to determine the number of weak trees in the city.

BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said that 135 complaints of fallen trees were lodged between Friday and Saturday.

“The tree audit was not completed this time. Trees that fell on Friday night looked healthy but their roots were weak and this is because of urbanisation. Most trees in the important areas area affected due to the presence of drains or footpaths on one side and houses on the other side. If roots penetrate through drains or houses, they cause damage and therefore the roots must be cut. But people protest if we cut trees,” Manjunath Prasad added.

Between Friday night and Saturday evening, the Palike received 135 complaints about fallen trees, while about 145 branches were reported to have fallen.

The highest number of complaints were recorded in South Bengaluru – 76. Most complaints of tree uprooting and vehicle damage came from JP Nagar, RV Road, Basavanagudi, Girinagar, Hanumanthanagar and Koramangala.

Vijay Nishant, the ‘tree doctor’ and an activist, said that BBMP did not do a tree audit. “It’s is all a lie. There are 12 people in a defunct body who don’t have the expertise to conduct a tree audit. When the disaster management agency has been warning us in advance, the BBMP could have set up a disaster management team that could have prevented all this damage,” he added.

Forty complaints of waterlogging came in from Mahadevapura, Bommanahalli zones and HBR Layout, HRBR Layout, Ulsoor and RT Nagar.

The BBMP Commissioner said that there are serious concerns over 16 types of trees pointed out by the Palike’s Forest Department.

“The BBMP needs an expert who will be able to identify the right kind of tree to be planted and whether it is safe in an urban setting,” Prasad said.


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