Bengaluru: The BBMP’s ambitious ‘Green App’ that was designed to encourage the planting of 10 lakh saplings across Bengaluru in 2017-18, has so far not achieved even half its target. While only 4.56 lakh saplings have been planted as yet, the application has stopped accepting requests for more since November.
Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Appu Rao of the BBMP claimed the Green App had slowed down following the end of the monsoon. “But those with the facility to nurture the saplings can still place requests,” he assured.
Asked why the BBMP had failed to achieve even 50 per cent of its target, he said distribution of 10 lakh saplings was just a tentative target. “We have succeeded in distributing 4.56 lakh saplings, which is quite satisfactory. Besides individuals, the requests came from non- government organisations (NGOs) and Resident Welfare Associations (RWA),” he revealed, adding that those who had bought the saplings were expected to provide information about their growth and the care they were receiving.
“The BBMP has four nurseries and still has about 6 lakh saplings in reserve. People can buy them by placing requests with the BBMP. However, the condition is that the saplings must be planted within BBMP jurisdiction,” he said.
“These 6 lakh saplings will be nurtured at nurseries with the help of gardeners and utilised or distributed next year. Further, one lakh saplings will be added. With this, as many as 7 lakh saplings will be up for grabs. ‘Green App’ can also be used to place such requests,” explained Mr. Rao.
Since the BBMP forest wing has a staff crunch, Home Guards will be roped in to monitor the saplings that have already been planted. Four Home Guards will be deputed to each of the zones to see that the saplings are nurtured and remain in good condition, he added.