Monday, September 29, 2008

City gets green fingers

City gets green fingers

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As global warming, the greenhouse effect and other such environmental issues threaten the earth, Bengaluru is doing its best to eradicate these problems. It is the first city in India to introduce the concept of urban forests.

Mr Suresh Heblikar, chairman of ‘Eco Watch’, an NGO that helps conserve forests and water resources spoke about the importance of urban forests in large cities. Planting trees would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere and simultaneously release oxygen into the environment. Urban forests would also help reduce sound pollution, soil erosion and improve ground water level in our city. “As there is little or no space available in Bengaluru, people are not willing to give up land to plant trees as they see it as a waste of space. Even religious institutions are reluctant as they lose out on commercial gain if there are trees in the way of a Shamiyana or any other temporary structure,” he said.

He also adds that some large companies such as Motorola, Intel and Deutsche Bank are concerned about ecological issues and are helping in whatever way they can. Eco Watch was the first organisation that conceived the idea of urban forests in Bengaluru.

On the Intermediate Ring Road between Koramangala and Indiranagar, it has planted over 50,000 trees, most of which are now fully grown.

Renowned environmentalist A.N. Yellappa Reddy has been actively working with Bangalore University to make it as green as possible. Presently, three lakh trees surround the campus and Mr Reddy is trying to advice the government to adopt tree parks around the city. He stresses on the importance of a Green Bengaluru and says, “Our lungs need about 90 per cent of moisture to be present in the air we breathe. Planting more trees will help release moisture in the air and trap the particulate matter that would have otherwise irritated our respiratory system. Birds, insects and some small animals would also prosper with the growth of trees around the city and this would help in pollination of flower bearing trees around the city.” Together, they urged the citizens to help with this venture and plant as many trees as possible.


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