Ground situation of plantation of saplings differs from the RTI reply
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, seeking to get the details of the afforestation programme launched by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), has indicated that there might have been a scam worth crores of rupees.
The reply states that around 31,000 saplings have been planted in each sector at a rate of Rs. 150 per sapling thus releasing a total amount of around Rs. 50 lakh for the purpose. It has been claimed by activists that the cost per sapling would not exceed Rs. 10. In a year, as many as 30 to 50 sectors of plantations have been raised. Apart from this, the contractors have been paid maintenance charges to the tune of Rs. 45-50 lakh per annum. However, there are little traces of the saplings found in the areas mentioned in the reply. Activists Further, the activists alleged that the work of planting saplings was outsourced to several contractors across Bangalore but no tender was invited for the purpose.
Now, the BDA commissioner has ordered a preliminary inquiry by the body’s task force superintendent of police and a second inquiry is also being conducted at the instance of BDA chairman.