Monday, October 26, 2009

‘We will help restore 160 lakes in city’

‘We will help restore 160 lakes in city’

Staff Reporter
Workshop on ‘Urban ecosystem: a sustainable future’
Governments blamed for loss in green cover

Green development plan for Bangalore sought

BANGALORE: Transport Minister R. Ashok on Sunday said the previous governments that had utilised tank beds for development works were primarily responsible for disappearance of water bodies and depletion of green cover in Bangalore.

“Following the ruler’s footsteps, the ruled too contributed and aggravated the situation,” he said.

“However, the BJP Government is committed to restoring and rejuvenating 160 existing lakes in and around Bangalore and bringing back the green cover,” the Minister said at a workshop on “Urban ecosystem: a sustainable future” here.

It was organised by Eco Club, a green initiative by Rotary Bangalore Midtown, Kshiti, Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) and Bangalore University.

The recently announced Rs. 22,000-crore package for the city was one such initiative to restore Bangalore to its original glory by reducing air pollution, increasing groundwater recharge and removing silt from storm-water drains, Mr. Ashok said. Arranging funds for this initiative would not be a constraint, he added.

Green plan
Earlier, Bangalore South MP H.N. Ananth Kumar urged Mr. Ashok to come out with a green development plan on the lines of comprehensive development plan for Bangalore.

The green development plan should focus on restoring the green cover and recharging groundwater in Bangalore, he said.

Just as the city corporation insists on a blueprint of a building before according sanction for construction, it should also ask for a “green print” seeking how the builder plans to enhance the green cover in the surroundings, he said.

On the occasion, Jayanagar MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar and Basavanagudi MLA Ravi Subramanya signed working agreements with D.S. Kulkarni Associates and Compassites, respectively, for development of one model park each in their constituencies.

Nandini from Bangalore University presented an environment survey report on Jayanagar, Basavanagudi and Padmanabhanagar Assembly constituencies.

Discussions in the morning sessions, opened by Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor N. Prabhu Dev, saw participation from environmentalists and students, among others.

Ashwin Mahesh, member of the ABIDe who moderated three sessions with experts, said, “We had allowed an ad hoc urban ecosystem to develop.

“We have to find practical solutions to find a healthy ecosystem,” he said.

Environmentalist A.N. Yellapa Reddy traced the change that had taken place in Bangalore Urban district.

V. Jagannatha from the University of Mysore, Harini Nagendra of A-Tree and solid waste management expert H.V. Chanakya spoke.

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