City SundayCover StoryMysore

Battle begins: Concretisation vs forestation

With the development of information technology and change of lifestyle, people have changed their sense of humanity and mankind. The encroachment and concretisation is increasing day by day. Bengaluru and Mysuru – prime destination of tourist across the globe are the most affected cities in India. Raising temperature of these cities has changed the landscape totally upside down. Not only climate the growing scarcity of water, greenery and waste disposal are the boiling issue of the state.

Urbanisation during 1973–2016 (1005% concretization or increase of paved surface) has had influence on Bengaluru’s natural resources, such as decline in green spaces (88% decline in vegetation), wetlands (79% decline), higher air pollutants and sharp decline in groundwater table. There are only 2 million trees to support Bengaluru’s population of 11.5 million (census 2011), indicating one tree for every seven persons in the city.

Recently, the state government revoked its earlier ban on drilling bore wells and ordered tapping into the last deposits of sizeable underground water-table by drilling as many bore wells as possible in 65 taluks of 20 districts, not to quench the thirst of city, but to irrigate the summer crops. Interestingly, the state government had banned drilling of bore wells to prevent rampant exploitation of underground water table for irrigation and commercial purpose in these taluks three-years ago. The government’s desperate act, according to experts, is expected to spell even more trouble in the coming days by further depleting groundwater levels across Karnataka. Dr TV Ramachandra, professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has slammed the state government, saying that the government was fast converting Karnataka into Ethiopia by issuing such unscientific orders.coverstory1

The day is not so far when the next generation will crave for clean air, pure water and healthy environment. Despite of such a chaos, there is still some hope on the other end of the landscape. There are some green activists who really care about the betterment of the future generation and also welcoming new ideas  who have the passion to create a better world.

Lalbagh, the most popular botanical garden of Bengaluru, is a milestone for other green warriors.  The garden is much more well organised than before. The arrangement of waste & water management is really a role model for other parks at Karnataka.  The garden is separated as sections like the bonsai park, the mountain area, the parking arrangements etc. The garden before 5 years doesn’t seem very large and beautiful. The development and the maintenance is really a heart blowing transformation. The garden is very eco friendly, separate timing for morning and evening walkers, the garbage disposals dustbins and every now and then workers picking up waste materials thrown by the visitors. There are so many vendors inside the park with water, ice cream and snacks etc. and each stall are standing near to a disposal bin. The waste bins are in the shape of tree trunk, conveying the message of “Save Trees’’. Small but yet does project a lot to an observer. The frame of smiling children, unwinding elder, relaxed senior citizens and that slow breeze of fresh air around the vast greenery gives a nostalgic sense of power, relevance and necessity of flora among us.

The story of a breathing lake in Mysore, Kukkarahalli Lake is another role example. The lake was in a state of deprivation. The lake was crying for attention of freshwater entry and the water body was blocked by sewage and contaminated.   Last year an initiative was taken by Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (KUIDFC) in association with the University of Mysore for the restoration of the lake to effectively reduce the external loading of pollutants and the intervention of wastes into the lake ecosystem. It also include increasing the height of lake bund and widening it, building a parking facility, installing toilets and arch gates, and constructing yoga and walkers’ shelters. The lake is slowly getting back to  new lease of life.

Importance of the flora and water  is known by each and every person here but the realization of its necessity has run quite away from us. It is a huge issue in today’s era.

Do we want our world to be like a dust planet?

Dry air, heat crouching through skin, no sight of trees far away, it feels just a scene of sci-fi movies from Hollywood. What did we intend to serve our future? For what are we all living? What are we returning to our mother earth? So on and so forth, questions are unanswered. Answer such questions to yourself every day, it is possible we may find some answers in the beautiful mind and bring some changes with that beautiful thought. It may be a small glitch of thought but can create a big change. A tiny grass also contributes to the forest. It is high time to decide which side you are and what you intended to do for the planet.

Everybody wants to park their vehicles in tree shed but nobody want to plant a sapling for tomorrow. 

 Save trees, save water, conserve natural resources for well being

By –

( Dr. Vonita Das, Trainers – Dr. Sachin Sinha, Menka Sinha)

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