Monday, January 28, 2008

Khus grass to keep Lalbagh lake clean

Khus grass to keep Lalbagh lake clean

Staff Reporter

Their roots absorb the toxins in water and purify it naturally

– Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

A new lease of life: The Lalbagh lake in Bangalore, which is being beautified.

BANGALORE: Heard of grass keeping the lakes clean? Here is an experiment being conducted by the State Horticulture Department.

After cleaning the Lalbagh lake for the second time in six months, the department has hit upon an idea of keeping it clean naturally and also save cost on cleaning.

Vetiveria zizanioides, popularly known as khus grass, will be grown around the lake, which will help the authorities to keep the lake clean. The roots of khus grass have a special characteristic of absorbing the toxins in water and purify it naturally.

Khus grass is being grown in Lalbagh to reduce the expenditure being incurred on cleaning the lake. Visitors have been polluting it by throwing waste into it.

K. Ramakrishnappa, Director of the department, told The Hindu that the department got information about the khus grass during a seminar organised by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics in Hyderabad.

“A detailed discussion on various uses and qualities of the khus grass was held. The department is yet to experiment khus grass on the Lalbagh lake,” he said.

The grass will be grown on ramps made of bamboo poles, which will float on the lake. The purpose is to keep the lake water clean and use it for irrigating the garden.

The cost of the project will be reasonable as the khus grass is being grown in Lalbagh itself. The department, which plans to commence work on the project in February, will incur about Rs. 50,000.

M. Jagadeesh, Deputy Director, said the department was also working on beautifying the lake by planting ornamental plants around it. Besides, the department had a plan to create a water fall to enhance the beauty of the lake. It would be ready in a year.

“We are seeking financial and administrative approval for the project,” he added.

He said that it was important to control pollution around the lake and maintain its ecological balance, as the island within provided habitat to various species of birds.

Any disturbance could perturb them


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