India's rising air pollution has been posing several threats. With the country accomodating 21 out of 30 most polluted cities in the world, according to a survey conducted in 2019, the challenges to tackle the air menace has been mounting on the government.
Punjab's Ludhiana, witnessing a grave problem of air pollution, has been stepping up its efforts and engaging various stakeholders in an attempt to improve the quality of air. The increasing awareness of the significance of improved air quality has also prompted individuals to take actions in their capacity.
Rohit Mehra, Additional Commissioner in the Income Tax Department, is using discarded plastic bottles as pots for creating vertical gardens in Ludhiana. Taking the idea of recycling for redefining traditional methods to increase the green cover, the officer said that they have used at least 70 tonnes of waste plastic bottles for setting up more than 500 vertical gardens at public places.
"Four years ago, my child told me that the school had declared holidays due to high air pollution. This set me thinking. wondered why we could not even provide clean air to our children. The push came from there," said Mehra, reported The New Indian Express.
He has set-up vertical gardens in schools, colleges, gurudwaras, churches, police stations, government offices and railway stations. "It is a cost-effective and space-efficient solution for urban greenery. The vertical gardens also save the environment as you reuse plastic wastes as pots. Thanks to drip irrigation, these gardens save 92 per cent water," added Mehra.
Highlighting the impact of vertical garden technique, he stated that a scientist from Punjab Agricultural University had conducted a study in the areas where there is a vertical garden and found 75 per cent reduction in pollution as per the air quality index (AQI) of the city.
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