At a time when the city’s green cover is declining rapidly, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is to take up a massive planting drive in all the 198 wards. Around 1 lakh saplings will be planted across eight zones of the BBMP with the support of volunteers from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The BBMP has earmarked Rs 5 crore in the recent budget for the initiative. “To improve the city’s green cover and beautification, we have already finalised tender for 75,000 saplings. The saplings are ready in our four nurseries and will be planted soon,” M K Cholarajappa, deputy conservator of forests (DCF), BBMP, told.
The civic body has already distributed around 6 lakh saplings through the BBMP Green app, launched to give away saplings to residents. “The Palike is distributing free saplings through the mobile app. Citizens can go to BBMPmanaged parks and collect the saplings. The saplings can be planted in residential compounds or along the side of the road,” added Cholarajappa. The saplings include mostly indigenous varieties — among them are trees valued for timber, honge and mahogany. Flowering tree saplings that will be made available are hole dasavala, huvarasi, sampige, basavana pada, tabebuia, jacaranda and tabebuia guayacan. Fruit-bearing trees kadu badami, jamun, gooseberry, cherry and medicinal trees like neem, simarouba and tapasi also figure in the list. “The saplings will be planted in areas that require green cover, BBMP lands and protected lands across the city. The BBMP alone cannot be responsible for the watering, and tending to all the saplings. Hence, partnering with NGOs and people are important,” the DCF explained.