In today’s hustling and bustling everyday life, do we ever take a step back to realise what’s happening to our city?? Rapid and senseless urbanization, thanks to IT boom which brought in lakhs of people all across India to Bengaluru; our beloved city has lost 8 percent of vegetation and 79 percent of water bodies, both of which act as a heat sink and moderate temperature to accommodate city’s rising population.
Environmental experts like Ramachandra TV from IISc, raises an alarm that by 2020, 94 percent of our landscape will be under concrete. He further adds, that is an unrealistic and tragic growth. Our children will not have clean air, clean water, and clean environment. His department conducted a study and found a direct correlation between the presence of diverse vegetation (wetlands) and its effect on the ground water table.
In 2008 they constructed Centenary Pond near the old Ecological Science Department building in the campus. The pond, which was initially a quarry pit, now stores 10 lakh litres of water and has become a lab of sorts for his students; upon monitoring the water table in the immediate vicinity of the campus. Earlier, in the open wells, the water table was 150 feet, which has now risen to 10 to 15 feet. The diverse vegetation in the campus has helped not only in retaining water in the wells but has also recharged the ground water.
Reportedly, the temperature touched 40 degrees Centigrade, one of the highest for the city. “The temperature in the campus is always two degrees lower than outside and in the vicinity of the forest and the lake it is four degrees lower,” says Dr Ramachandra.
He adds that he fails to understand why all projects have to come to Bengaluru. “We should have followed the disperse growth model. We should not have made Bangalore to Bengaluru increasing the spatial extent from 310 sq km to 741 sq km. In the process, we lost all the water bodies in the surrounding area. Instead, if we had built satellite towns in the vicinity of Bangalore, we would have retained the greenery and maintained the climate in the region. Everyone would have been happier,” suggests Dr Ramachandra
Newsism hopes that there would be adequate efforts in planning here forth and lake rejuvenation efforts are fast tracked along with restoring diverse vegetation. We the citizens of Bengaluru should do our part, and it’s equally important to make environmental issues a major political talking point.
Here’s a video of Ramachandra describing his efforts in IISc.