Friday, June 29, 2007

Urban areas need more green cover

Urban areas need more green cover
There’s a need to develop green landscapes in the city and a green documentation is being carried out after mapping bio-diversity, writes Poornima B V

There's a need to save the urban eco-system and conserve bio-diversity, according to A N Yellappa Reddy, Chairman, Biodiversity Management Committee, constituted by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Emphasising the importance of preserving rare flora and fauna, he said there's a need to establish healthcare eco-systems in order to trap suspended particulate matter and improve air quality. A healthcare eco-system and a spiritual landscape are also being planned in Lal Bagh, according to him.
Stressing the need for development of green landscapes that allow for free movement of people, he said the need of the hour is to develop jogging tracks, shade-giving trees and more green landscapes for people to relax, as lawns are high on maintenance and cannot be trampled upon. There's a need to have parks with native trees and not exotic species like crotons.
Green documentation
A green documentation is being carried out after mapping bio-diversity in the city. The idea is to evolve a proper eco-management concept based on both on-site and off site studies. An ecological audit of Ward No 2 (Mathikere) is being carried out and after documenting these studies, these will be replicated in other wards as well. The study involves resource management, waste disposal, stormwater drains, rain water recharging and study of existing ponds, indoor pollution and tree species in the city. The study will also look into effective lake management systems, bio-diversity of lakes and how pollution has changed the aquatic systems.
The study is being conducted by the Department of Environment Science in collaboration with other departments of Bangalore University. A multi-disciplinary core group with an inter-disciplinary group of students and teachers, headed by Dr N Nandini, Department of Environment Science and experts from other departments will map bio-diversity and prepare a green documentation or people's bio-diversity register.
There are 200 different tree species that have the ability to absorb toxic gases. The concept of five trees or panchavati should be established and promoted in neighbourhoods in the city, according to Reddy. Trees like the Bilva (aegle marmilos), Ashoka (saraca indica), Ficus (ficus bengalensis) and (philanthis emblica) and the Ashwatha (ficus religiosa) have medicinal properties.


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