The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike(BBMP) has come forward to give trees a measure of relief from publicity assault.
The municipality has rolled out a novel initiative to remove unwanted objects such as pegs and staple pins that are used to fix advertisements and publicity material on trees.
While known as the ‘Garden City’ for the green spaces that abound its landscape, the trees in Bengaluru have turned into vehicles for advertisers.
From PG accommodations, jobs to astrology, advertisements and publicity material have found a convenient resting place on trees, guaranteed to catch eyeballs.
However, the pain inflicted on the city’s foliage by driving nails into them has now stirred the city civic body into action.
On Wednesday, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad launched the ‘Nails Free Trees’ campaign, sending out a stern message to advertisers who resort to such convenient methods to spread the word.
He said using trees as advertising spaces would be deemed a criminal offence and invite strict action. He added that neither electric cables nor any kind of strings should be tied to trees.
Prasad launched the campaign from Shivananda Circle, near Chitrakala Parishat, himself getting down to removing pins and pegs from trees.
Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), a citizen advocacy group, has partnered the civic body in this campaign.
Prasad said, “Trees die a gradual death because of these nails and staple pins as the supply of water and essential minerals gets affected. Though damaging trees in Bengaluru is forbidden by law, it is done with impunity. Hence, we have now decided to pursue criminal action against those resorting to such acts and companies these advertisements are for.”
He also said the municipality is in talks with Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) for a truck to enable translocation of trees. He said the agency has agreed to hand over the truck to BBMP so that urban infrastructure projects could be taken up after shifting trees to safer places.
The Tree Preservation Act and Bengaluru Municipal Act make it illegal to fix publicity material on trees but the civic body has failed to enforce these regulations strictly.
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