Old habits die hard, this phrase suits BBMP which refuses to correct its corrupt system, this time the allegation is about the forest department which is accused of withdrawing Rs 15.40 crores from BBMP treasury saying it spent the amount on counting and number every tree in BBMP.

The RTI activist NR Ramesh nailed this blatant lie with document proof. According to forest department manual, the trees have to be painted with green and written in yellow letters and this cannot be found in any of the Bengaluru trees.

RTI activist and former BBMP Ruling Party Leader in BBMP Council N.R Ramesh who obtained  the documents through Right To Information Act alleged, that the  forest department's loot in BBMP is always hidden and  never comes to light.

"The spending of the forest development project doubles than expected and officials show  tweaked figures  while billing. In this case, the officials have given statements saying they have withdrawn Rs 15,43,97,866 as they had spent the money on numbering 1.25 crore trees. My question is that why the work is not visible. With hardly 12 people in the department how can they cover so many trees in just a year. This matter should be probed,"  he said.

The documents further say that the forest department has once again put up a request to release another Rs 5,47,00,000 crore for which the accounts departments is getting  prepared. "The next step is to approach the lokayukta if they do not show practical results and give the bills and payment to workers in this regard,"  he said.

When Team Newsable called BBMP forest cell, Deputy Conservator of Forest Appu Rao, he said, he is not aware of any scam and said he will get the report and check.

City Mayor G Padmavathi said, the forest and its development is very sensitive subject  and BBMP will not allow it's reputation to get affected. "The allegations are strong. We will probe and verify the facts. If we find any loopholes in the forest department work, officials will be suspended," she said.