HC to BBMP: Pay contractors after a year, put plantation details online

High court suggests a plan to ensure the saplings are maintained well: Pay the contractor an year later!

High Court of Karnataka (HC) suggested that BBMP make payments for tree-planting contracts only after monitoring the survival rate of the seedlings for an year after planting, to ensure that the seedlings planted are protected and maintained.

In a suo motu PIL (WP No. 7288/2011) filed by former justice D V Justice Shylendra Kumar for  mass tree felling in Jayamahal Palace road in 2011 for widening the road, BBMP Advocate Subramanya R informed the court that the afforestation tenders for this year have already been awarded.

Amicus curiae Vaishali Hegde pointed that the agreements that are already signed for this year have loopholes. The agreement has a clause that allows the payment for the work done as and when the bills are produced, she told the court.

In order to hold the contractors responsible for the plantation and maintenance of the seedlings,  Bench comprising of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice H G Ramesh suggested BBMP to consider making payments only after a year after checking how many saplings have actually survived.

Since the contracts are already awarded, the necessary changes in the agreement can be made only in the future contracts. In the previous few hearings BBMP had made a submission to the court stating that in an urban setting, the mortality rate of seedlings is 10% per year for the first three years of the maintenance, for various reasons.

Contracts should be awarded for long term

Vaishali also highlighted that BBMP is spending crores of rupees for plantation of saplings but they fail to monitor and maintain them. She pointed that the duration of the tenders passed this year for the maintenance is only 8 to 9 months, with the last date for this year’s contract for maintenance ending on March 3, 2015. There is a need for maintaining the saplings for a long term, she reported.

‘Upload details on website’

In order to bring in more transparency, the court has asked the BBMP to provide the data related to the number of saplings planted, location, survival etc on their website. All the information should be easily made available for the public to monitor themselves, said the court. Advocate Subramanya informed the court that same has been listed in the action plan and will be done.

RFOs to be deputed to overcome shortcomings in staff

In the previous hearing, Vaishali Hegde had observed that the BBMP Forest Wing is highly understaffed. Following this, the BBMP advocate Subramanya R informed the court that BBMP Commissioner has requested the Karnataka State Government to depute three Rain Forest Officers to BBMP. Along with them, the Commissioner has also requested to depute 34 Deputy Rain Forest Officers to BBMP.

The hearing was adjourned to August 8, 2014.

Comments:

  1. Srinidhi S says:

    some sane decision..but what are the practical implications? do the co’s planting have really deep pockets to wait for one year for payment? Or does it help if they plant one year old tree instead?
    I think the later makes sense!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Study shows TNPCB ill-equipped to monitor the environmental impact of pollution

The scientific team of TNPCB is working at half its strength, affecting the Board's ability to carry out inspections in Chennai and other parts of the State.

The Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Boards are the primary custodians for preventing and controlling all forms of pollution in our country. Despite their significant role in environmental protection, the public is mostly unaware of the functions of these regulatory bodies, due to insufficient research. Therefore, we at Citizen consumer & civic Action Group (CAG) have attempted to understand the functions of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), through a study titled โ€˜The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in Retrospect: An Examination of Selected Parameters from 2017 to 2022.โ€™ Read more: Fisherfolk lament as environmental…

Similar Story

Why the national programme for clean air failed a gasping Mumbai

Mumbai has seen an alarming decline in air quality. A look at the limited impact of the National Clean Air Programme on mitigating pollution.

October 2023 was a shocker for Mumbai. The coastal city has historically recorded lower AQI levels as compared to Delhi, which is notorious for its poor air quality. But the tables turned in October 2023, with AQI in Mumbai reaching dangerously high levels of up to 300, surpassing Delhi for several days. This led to a slew of respiratory ailments, more so among the vulnerable populations. PM2.5 levels have, in fact, seen a consistent increase in Mumbai over the past three years. Dr Jui Mandke, a paediatric surgeon practising in Mumbai, says, โ€œIn October 2023, we encountered the maximum number…