Union Environment Ministry. With a title like that and power to boot, one would expect the world from this arm of the government. Especially in these days of rampant environmental degradation, global warming et al. The scope for making far reaching changes in the way citizens treat the environment is immense. Even little actions can go a long way. Banning usage of plastic covers could be one; sadly, not even on that score has the UEM been successful. On one occasion, the UEM has been diplomatically told by none other than the PMO to ‘keep quiet’!

So, what is done in the interim? Perhaps, twiddling of thumbs, hoping they will turn green. ;) Then, even as our tigers keep disappearing, first in Sariska and now in Ranthambore, ‘proposals’ are announced. At times, reports are, well, reported! As was done recently in 2005. Nothing wrong, except the data related to 2003! In the said report mention was made of “…..a steady progress and can achieve the 2007 target,” adding ” that the government might face difficulties in reaching the 2012 target !!!”

Yeah, right!

Anyway. Thanks to the report, it comes as a surprise to know that the green cover in namma Bangalore city has been mapped at just 7.67% of the total area! Is this sufficient to loose the sobriquet of ‘Garden City’? It just might.

As an offshoot – pardon the pun – the more enterprising folk in the city – in particular, the Karnataka Thigalara Nurserymen Association, will be selling saplings and plants in mobile vans to raise awareness and promote the concept of a Green Bangalore. Christened ‘Parisara Maitri’ aka ‘environment friendly’, one can only hope to God it succeeds.

Also getting into the act – finally, it seems – is the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, in tandem with the Bangalore Development Authority to add on to the ‘foliage’ by enlarging the green space. Parks in neighbourhoods are now being allowed to be adopted by resident associations.

Next on the anvil – groves, mini-forests etc. From grey buildings to total green cover.

My gosh, all this excitement is too much for poor old me, 360 km.away from the action.

Should all these initiatives bear fruit, so to speak, it will be enough to collectively exclaim – not question, mind you – “How cool is my city!”

Goodness knows we all need to chill a bit!


2 Comments so far

  1. usha (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

    This should be done on top priority – to compensate for all the trees that have been cut down to broaden raods and for construction purposes. I was also very happy to read about the mobile vans supplying plants.

  2. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on April 5th, 2006 @ 11:54 pm

    A BMP video as recent as 2002/3 trumpeted that Bangalore had a tree/green cover of a whopping 40% – which is of course BS.

    The authorities seem to delight in cutting down trees that are 25 years and older – and large in size.

    The selling of saplings is, IMO, not going to take off – how many people even leave space for planting them within their homes?

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