Bangalore attempts to bring back its avian dwellers

June 5th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 5 (IANS) What is Bangalore without its gigantic trees and chirping birds hopping from one branch to another?
Answering the question raised by almost all Bangaloreans on World Environment Day Friday, noted ornithologist M.B. Krishna said the city would be dead without its two most vital components.

“With the shrinking of habitats of birds, mostly green cover, the population of birds has dwindled drastically in Bangalore in the last 10 years,” said Krishna, while unveiling the project “Bring Back the Birds” launched by IT company Ness Technologies in their Bangalore campus Friday.

“Bangalore because of its massive green cover almost three decades back had around 320 bird species. Due to large scale destruction of birds’ habitats which includes trees and lakes, the city has lost one third of its bird species in the last 10 years. I would like to congratulate Ness Technologies for attempting to increase the bird population in the city,” added the ornithologist.

As a part of its initiative to help restore the bird population in the city, the IT company planted several nectar yielding trees in the city and installed a “Birdbath” in its office campus.

Explaining the idea behind planting tress and installation of the birdbath, Satyajit Bandyopadhyay, president and managing director of Ness Technologies, India said the attempt was to create bird habitats across the city.

“A birdbath is an artificial puddle created with a shallow, water-filled basin for birds to drink and bathe in. A birdbath is a strong attraction for birds and attracts many different species of birds. The idea will help to increase the bird population in the erstwhile ‘Garden City’, as Bangalore was earlier known to be,” said Bandyopadhyay.

“Today (Friday) we symbolically installed the birdbath in our campus. In the coming days we plan to install similar birdbaths in different offices and houses of Bangalore. We’ll also carry forward our tree plantation programme across Bangalore, throughout the year,” he added.

All the 1,200 employees of the IT company in Bangalore participated in the event and took special oaths to save and guard the environment.

As a part of World Environment Day, Bangalore saw a host of events, mostly stressing on the need to bring back the lost green cover of the city, once a ‘heritage’ of the city.

Hasiru Usiru (Greenery is Life), a conglomeration of various city-based community organizations urged the government to restore the green cover of the city.

Bangalore in recent times had lost around 50,000 trees, felled out for developmental activities, states a report of Environment Support Group (ESG), an NGO and part of Hasiru Usiru.

“We’re not anti-development, but we’re against destruction of green cover, a vital lifeline for the city,” coordinator of Hasiru Usiru Vinay Sreenivasa told IANS.

“Innumerable trees have been felled from the heart of the city for ongoing construction of Metro rail and this is very sad,” he added.

According to different environment groups, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.(BMRCL) has axed large number of trees at several places, including Lalbagh Botanical Garden for the Metro project.

As a part of World Environment Day celebration, The World Environment Foundation launched ‘Proactivate’, an environment initiative, in the city on Friday to combat climate change.

Around 300 volunteers of The World Environment Foundation formed human chain and pledge their support to save the environment of the city.

To mark the day, the Environment Education and Awareness Area, TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) also organised a Environment Mela for children in the city.

“Today I have taken the pledge to plant as many as trees possible in my lifetime. I don’t want our beautiful planet earth gets destroyed due to human vagaries. I have learnt a lot about environment and the factors threatening it today by attending the education mela,” said Sumita Hedge, a school student in Bangalore.

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