Monday, December 27, 2004

How green is our City?

How green is our City?

Deccan Herald

Bangalore, once known for its lush greenery, has witnessed a drastic change in climate over the past four years due to mindless destruction of its green cover.
To create awareness among Bangaloreans regarding these and other environmental hazards, the Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA), an NGO, presented its `Green Report Card’ - findings of a public survey conducted by students on the awareness levels and opinions of Bangaloreans on the “declining greenery in the City.”

The report was presented to a panel at the St Joseph’s Indian High School auditorium. The extensive survey carried out by CMCA members covered 2,716 households spread across the City.

While many blamed BESCOM for pruning trees, which results in decaying and uprooting, others were of the view that an application has to be submitted to the tree officer of the forest department before cutting a tree and urged the BMP and BDA to protect trees.

CMCA - a joint initiative of Public Affairs Centre and Swabhimana, is a forum of school students in Bangalore striving to create and spread civic awareness through civic clubs in schools. In the current academic year, CMCA has 50 schools and over 2000 students as its members.

Vrunda Bhaskar, programme officer, CMCA of PAC, says, “The problem with Bangalore is that it doesn’t have any beaches and rivers unlike other metropolis like-Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, which bring in fresh air. This makes Bangalore more vulnerable to pollution. Moreover, the law of planting two trees for every single tree being chopped is not being followed.”

The Green Card Investigation Brigade conducted a workshop, where selected students interviewed the stakeholders, including BMP, BDA, BESCOM and Urban Forest Department.

Forty four students from 19 schools were given various inputs, including an overall view of greenery, civic issues and methods of interviewing. The groups, accompanied a CMCA volunteer and interviewed 13 representatives from various agencies and organisations.

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