BBMP is unable to maintain the roadside plants due to lack of funds.
04 March 2021
Roadside plants in Yeshwantpur, Residency Road, Cubbon Park, Koramangla and M.G Road.
have dried up due to lack of maintenance by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahangar Palike (BBMP). Akansha Dubey, a resident at Kornangala, said, “I remember travelling from the Yeshwantpur metro and there used to be a really nice vertical garden. Now it has all dried up and it doesn’t look good and nobody is taking care of them. It is really bad for the environment also.” Akansha recalled how the roads used to have green flowering plants, but now either they have dried up or the soil is covered with garbage.
According to the BBMP these plants are part of a Beautification Scheme of the BBMP. BBMP launched the scheme in 2018 at Yeshwantpur, Residency Road, Cubbon Park, Koramangla and M.G Road.
Reforest, an NGO that plants saplings around the city said that the reason the plants are drying is due to the watering system of the BBMP. The NGO had tied up with the BBMP to plant more saplings. They were supposed to plant them while the BBMP was supposed to water and maintain them. However, Janet Yageshwara, founder of Reforest India said that the BBMP didn’t follow through “They kept delaying it. They kept saying we will water them soon. Then finally I came to know that they have a certain slot for watering. By that time all the plants had died,” she said.
The BBMP waters the plants thrice every month, which isn’t enough as per environmentalists
The Head of the Forest Cell of BBMP, H.S Ranganthanswamy said they spend Rs.450 per plant on annually. However, according to him that isn’t enough to cover the costs. “If you want us to maintain the plants better and water it more frequently then the budget should be more as well,” he said. He also said that they have been trying their best to maintain the plants. “We do our best, but there are some NGOs who come and plant saplings and do not maintain them,” he said.
H.S Ranganthanswamy added that lack of watering isn’t the only reason why plants are drying. “These plants are on the road, so they are exposed to lot of pollution including vehicle emissions, litter in the soil and other pollutants,” he said.
Rajani Rameshwar, an environmentalist said that the BBMP needs to focus more on the health of the plants than on merely achieving targets. “BBMP needs to start watering more regularly and not in random slots. They should also increase the budget for the maintenance of these plants and trees,” she said.