Friday, April 30, 2010

Let a million trees take root this monsoon

Let a million trees take root this monsoon

There are 30 varieties of trees you could plant; get seeds at Re1 from BCIL

Manisha Yadav. Bangalore

As the monsoon approaches, here is your chance to do something about the city's thinning green cover. It is that time of year when seeds fallen from trees begin to germinate of their own; the best time to go about planting seeds or saplings. And it needs little expense or effort. All you need is the patience to go about, and get your hands dirty.
The Biodiversity Conservation India (Pvt) Limited (BCIL) is close at hand, ready to lend you a hand as you go about the greening business. The 'million seedball' campaign was started by the people who also promote the concept of zero-energy design (ZED) in the city, urging that building design be such that the dependence on artificial lighting or temperature regulation is kept minimal. As its name suggests, the campaign aims at planting at least a million seedballs over the next six months.
The 'seedball' is a mixture of clay and compost, which contains a seed within. Different varieties of seeds are available. Nearly 30 different types of trees could come to be part of the city's green canopy if this effort takes off. The aim is also to green the city's outskirts, so that all parts on the periphery of the city have a thick canopy, which, over time, could contribute to cooling the city's environs.
Chandrashekar Hariharan, the CEO, BCIL, said, "We urge citizens to take up this drive to green the city. We want to transform the city from the garbage city back to a green one. Anyone and everyone can contribute; all you need to do is plant a seed."
Leo Saldanha, member of the Environment Support Group, however, was skeptical. Seedlings need to be nurtured, he said, and even if they actually take root, the BBMP will do its job and bring the trees down, he felt. The BCIL, however, works with the assumption that it is better to light a lamp than curse the darkness.
If you wish to be part of this effort to go about disseminating seeds, join the 'million seedballs' campaign. You could write to Jayaprakash at for details. Each seedball costs Re1, and there are 30 different trees that you could choose from, including neem and honge.


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