With Bangalore becoming a concrete jungle, people set out to build vertical gardens on the metro and flyover pillars. Ironically, Bangalore, also known as the ‘Garden City’ cannot sustain such a thing. The gardens which were put along the metro pillars near MG road, flyover at the Yeshwanthpur junction and the elevated flyover on Hosur Road can be seen withering.
Sustainable or not
SayTrees, the organisation that worked on the Hosur road pillar, has been planting trees for the last ten years. And on the tenth year, they felt that more needs to be done. With a reduction of land and the increase of pillars in the city due to the metro and flyover construction work, they constructed the vertical garden on Hosur road.
Durgesh Agrahari, head of partnerships and projects in SayTrees, says that the pillar in Hosur Road has about 3,500 saplings. More than ten varieties of saplings were chosen, which were sturdy but also looked beautiful.
When asked about the current situation of the installation he said, “If taken a close look at the pillar, it can be seen that the saplings in the upper part of the pillar are still surviving. The saplings in the lower parts are not.”
He further adds “The reason why some saplings are not surviving is the wind blast. The heavy vehicular movement along the road and the subsequent blast of wind is the main problem.”
He says that the necessary measures to sustain and maintain those saplings are already in place. “We have installed automated motors, drip irrigation systems for watering them. So, water or maintenance is not a problem.”
What impacts the growth of the saplings and how it can be saved from the wind? “The saplings in the lower part of the pillar were brought from the nursery in a day’s notice. They need to be kept in the nursery for at least a few weeks, say 2-3 weeks or maybe 4-5 weeks depending on the variety and local climatic conditions.”
He says they are replacing those saplings with a new variety by using tissue culture and they hope that those will be stable.
Some people say otherwise
Some environmentalists call the entire concept of a vertical garden a bad idea. According to a Bangalore Mirror article, Kailash Murthy, a natural farming expert said that the garden was against nature and the maintenance charges were also very expensive. He said, “This is becoming a showpiece at the end of the day.”
Another environmentalist Vijay Nishanth too thinks it is not a viable option. “This is not suitable for us. It is expensive, and it was done in Canada. Our roads are too hot for these plants. Why are we spending so much money on this,” he asks.
Durgesh asks people not to be demotivated. “It was an experiment. Experiments have a 50-50 chance of being successful. We have invested a lot of time, manpower and money on these projects. And we will keep on working and reworking to increase the green cover of Bangalore.”
“There are both positive and negative aspects of an experiment. But if we show only the negative side of it; then people will get demotivated,” he says. “We have a dedicated team working on the pillar. We don’t use chemicals and are completely organic. Hopefully, our efforts will be successful,” Durgesh added. The Logical Indian covered the making of the vertical garden. You can see it here.
To Beat Pollution, Bengaluru Gets Its First Vertical Garden On Flyover Pillars.
Posted by The Logical Indian on Monday, March 27, 2017
The Logical Indian Take
An IISc study found that from the year 2000 to 2014, India’s silicon valley lost its green cover by 125%. Bengaluru currently has a population of 95 lakh, had just 14,78,500 trees. So basically for every seven persons, there is one tree. The two charts in this series show the changes in the landscape of the Agara-Bellandur wetlands from 2000-2015.
But if age and oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output is taken into consideration then one person needs at least eight trees. So, the situation is getting worse day by day. Also, once a city with sprawling lakes, has only a handful left.
Just four lakes are in good condition. 90% of the lakes are polluted with sewage. Of these, 25 were covered by water hyacinth — an indicator of the sewage flow — throughout the year. The lakes are also covered with solid and liquid wastes with very little water.
The Logical Indian urges community members to take initiatives, no matter how small it is, and help in restoring the green cover of the city and rejuvenating the lakes.