Bangalore wants its greenery back (For World Environment Day)

June 4th, 2009 - 9:52 am ICT by IANS  

By Maitreyee Boruah
Bangalore, June 4 (IANS) Once known as Garden City, Bangalore has witnessed rampant loss of greenery in the name of development. On World Environment Day Friday, Bangaloreans will make an attempt to reclaim its “green heritage”.

In recent times, India’s tech hub has lost around 50,000 trees, which were felled to widen roads choked with traffic, build flyovers at busy road intersections, road underpasses and now metro rail, states a report of the Environment Support Group (ESG), an NGO that is part of the umbrella group Hasiru Usiru.

Hasiru Usiru, which literally means ‘Greenery is Life’, is a conglomeration of various city-based community organisations and has been at the forefront to protest the ‘illogical destruction” of Bangalore’s greenery for developmental work.

“We’ll observe the day to mark the loss of green cover in Bangalore and our volunteers will take a pledge to save the environment of the city, including its flora and fauna,” Vinay Sreenivasa, coordinator of Hasiru Usiru, told IANS.

“It is sad that in spite of so many protests staged by us in the last one month, the government is yet to do anything to save the trees of the city. Bangalore was known for its vast tree cover. Most of the trees felled in recent times have been part and parcel of Bangalore for over five decades,” observed Sreenivasa.

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

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

The volunteers of the foundation will form a human chain and pledge their support to save the environment of the city. The foundation in its weeklong programme will clean the city’s various parks and plant a sapling each in various corporate houses.

Cricketer Anil Kumble has been roped in to promote the use of vehicles run on electricity.

“Bangalore has led the world in technology. It is time it leads the world in using the same technology and turning climate change into an opportunity for business innovation and change. We would like every man, woman and child in Bangalore to join the human chain,” said Madhav Mehra, a senior member of the foundation.

To mark the day, the Environment Education and Awareness Area, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is organising an Environment Mela.

“Students from various schools across the city will be participating in the mela,” said M.L. Madhura of TERI, Southern Regional Centre, Bangalore.

The mela will include a spot painting competition, quiz and screening of movies on environment issues, among other activities.

Several leading environment agencies will participate in the fair and educate the students on issues related to e-waste management, rainwater harvesting systems, renewable energy devices, biodegradable wastes, recycle and reuse processes,” Madhura added.

(Maitreyee Boruah can be contacted at

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