Pandemic affects BBMP’s sapling distribution in city
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the city has had an impact on all activities and spheres of life. So much so that it has even affected the planting of saplings in the city.
According to information provided by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), just around 1.25 lakh saplings have been distributed free of cost to various civil society organisations that routinely take up plantation drives in the city. Every year, the civic body raises saplings and gives them away free of cost to organisations that want to take up plantation drives.
“This year, despite several publicity activities about available saplings, not many organisations came forward to take the saplings from our five nurseries in the city,” claimed H.S. Ranganathaswamy, Deputy Conservator of Forests, BBMP Forest Cell, who added that last year, over 2.5 lakh saplings had been distributed.
The civic body has a stock of over five lakh saplings still in its five nurseries at Kudlu in Bommanahalli zone, Atturu in Yelahanka zone, Kempapura in Mahadevapura zone, Mallathahalli in Rajarajeshwarinagar zone, and Bangalore University, Jnana Bharathi.
Mr. Ranganathaswamy said this year, the civic body, during the monsoon months, had planted nearly 1.3 lakh saplings across eight zones in the city. “Last year, we were not able to meet the target; just around 65,000 saplings were planted,” he pointed out. Over the past few years, the civic body has been giving priority to indigenous species, both flowering and fruit bearing varieties, such as honge, neem, mahogany, sampige, ranjal, and nerale.
These species, officials said, were hardy and suited for city. “These species are known as urban species and can grow well in city environs. While they may not have a huge canopy, their roots are strong. This is one of the reasons why we are giving priority to these species, since they can withstand strong winds and rain unlike many exotic tree species that have weak roots,” they said.