Friday, October 23, 2009

Unsustainable growth making city unfit to live in

Unsustainable growth making city unfit to live in

Our quest for growth and better lifestyle is harming the environment

Bosky Khanna

There is no two ways about it: the city has seen a tangible change in its climate. Once called the AC city due to its salubrious climate, Bangalore is now slowly but surely feeling the effects of global warming. Prof Govinda Swamy Bala, associate professor, Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), who recently published a study on climate change in the international journal, Climate Dynamics, spoke to Bosky Khanna on the issue.

Bangalore was once known as the AC city. But that is no longer the case. What are the reasons for climate change in the city?
It is because of the "urban heat island" effect. Bangalore looks like a concrete jungle now. There is also smog because of carbon dioxide and pollutants from heavy vehicular traffic. The smog could result in rapid ozone production, which could then heat up the city.

Who is responsible for this loss of green cover and water bodies?
Everyone is responsible. Awareness is the key to prevent climate change. If we are aware of the effects our own actions have on the environment, then we can take remedial measures to prevent the deterioration of our surroundings.

What can be done to save the remaining lung space and to increase the green cover?
Simple measures will help. Efficient use of energy and water is important. Also, when you travel around the city, try to use public transportation. When you buy electrical appliances, buy the ones that are energy efficient and see if you can manage with one that has less wattage. And, come up with ways to reduce your own "carbon footprint". Avoid cutting trees and plant new ones because trees help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

What is stopping the government from protecting city's green cover? Are the government officials unaware of global warming or are they simply not concerned?
It is the desire to grow the economy and improve our lifestyles. We want to create world-class facilities in the city, which require a lot of space, water and energy. We should implement sustainable growth models for achieving these goals. However, what we see today is unsustainable growth, which is damaging our environment.

How can the problem be addressed?
First of all, the growth of the city should take place in a sustainable manner. Restoration of green cover and water bodies should be given top priority. The government should take immediate steps to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads by creating a good public transportation system. New industries should be sent to secondary cities so that population growth in the city is sustainable.


At Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 7:04:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly! This is what we need to do throughout India...and it is an urgent matter.
Thanks for posting.


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