Friday, August 24, 2007

Corporates pitch in for greener city

Corporates pitch in for greener city
Parks, medians and traffic islands are being adopted and developed into green spots by firms in the city, says Leena Mudbidri

While the city's tree-lined avenues will make way for the widening of roads, it comes as a whiff of fresh air to know that responsible corporate houses, colleges and residential neighbourhoods are pitching in with the greening initiative on their campuses and the city's roads.
The various road widening works will see numerous trees being axed to accommodate the huge commuter flow. As part of the corporate social responsibility, several business houses, real estate firms, advertising agencies, banks and educational institutions in the city are taking up the cudgels for enhancing the green cover to make up for the depleting greenery on the roads.
According to Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP), Krishna Udapudi, the BBMP has invited corporate sponsorship of parks, lakes, boulevards, medians, circles and traffic islands in the city. "It is an ongoing process and so far 30 corporate bodies have come forward to adopt parks and medians," he says. "We have drafted a brochure and sent it across to large IT companies which have evinced interest in the park adoption scheme," he adds. As part of its Greener Bangalore drive, the BBMP has converted 386 open spaces into parks and is in the process of roping in corporate houses in the maintenance and development of these green spaces.
Several large firms have come forward in support of the BBMP's park and lake adoption schemes which are offered on a lease basis. Says Snehal Mantri, Director of one such firm, "We approached the PWD with the offer to take up widening of roads. In the bargain we decided to also take up maintenance of the median along the entire stretch of a road. We also maintain three gardens in the city". The organisation has also adopted a lake on a lease for five years from the Lake Development Authority.
Likewise, another firm has taken up advertising space along the median on a road on a lease basis which contributes to the maintenance of the green space. Of 55 medians along the city's roads, 16 are maintained by advertising agencies. Mahpara Ali, Chief General Manager of a bank, says, "Our bank has adopted the island in front of our campus as well as several other traffic islands and medians in the city."
Large corporate houses have pitched in with their own kinds of support in making the cityscape greener beginning with their home turf. Lush green and sprawling campuses dotted with water features are well proving to be the lung spaces of the city.
The Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Management campuses have mini forests which are very old. Similarly, several educational institutes in the city have tree planting projects on a regular basis. For every tree that is felled, if corporates and the public come forward to plant two more, the BBMP's PPP (public-private partnership) project towards a greener Bangalore will bear fruit. Developing greenery
Open spaces identified : 574 Open spaces developed : 386 Parks given for adoption : 35 Circles developed : 68 Circles given for adoption : 38 Boulevards developed : 24 Boulevards given for adoption : 4 Medians developed : 55 Medians given for adoption : 16


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