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Choking under a blanket of smoke

Last updated: 13 October, 2011
Deepa Natarajan

GREY HAZE

Over the years, Bangalore has become synonymous with booming infrastructure. Though advancement has its own advantages, it comes with a number of limitations as well.

Hazard: People should do their bit to curb pollution. Fumes from vehicles, cutting of trees, improper garbage disposal, e-waste etc have become a common sight in the City now. From being the ‘Garden City’, Bangalore is slowly turning into a concrete jungle. As clouds of smoke continue to envelope us, what should we, as citizens, do to take care of our City? Metrolife speaks to a few Bangaloreans to find out.

Vinay, a second year student of M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, has lived in Bangalore all his life and is saddened at the increasing pollution level. “The climate change is a clear indicator of this fact. November is almost here and it’s still so hot,” he laments.

That’s why he makes it a point to carpool with his friends regularly. “A bunch of us live in the same area so we go to college together. Otherwise, if I have to travel a short distance, I use public transport or walk. Steps like these make a significant difference,” he adds. According to him, “There is a lack of awareness among the people here. A proof of this is the fact that they set dead leaves on fire instead of using them as compost!”

Anand Bhate, a final year engineering student of Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering, feels one can’t even breathe properly in the City. “Though it’s good to use the public transport, the public transport system in the City is not up to the mark. In such cases, the battery powered cars and bikes are very useful,” he adds. Anand feels people should take more steps. “For instance, under the guidance of our principal Nethaji S Ganeshan, we have made a rule that no vehicle should go around in our college campus. If each individual takes small steps like these, it will make a big difference,” he adds.

The authorities say they have been taking a number of steps too. Says an official from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, “For the past two years, we have taken many steps like planting trees in industrial areas of the City. There is also a 14-point-agenda submitted to the State Government addressing issues of Metro and road widening.”
Kuldeep and Saurabh run an NGO called ‘Reap Benefit’ which focuses on issues like solid waste management and carbon footprint. “We work with schools, colleges and organisations to understand their carbon footprint and also suggest measures to reduce it.

If each one of us takes individual steps, it is possible to reduce the pollution,” they say.

“You cannot carpool everyday but you can still do it as often as possible. Just meet your friends or colleagues at a common point and travel together. Instead of dropping your children to school in a car, make them take the school bus,” explains Kuldeep.

“Garbage disposal also leads to pollution indirectly. When waste gets piled up, certain gases are emitted. So it’s essential to segregate your waste and send the non-biodegradable items like plastics, tins and e-waste to the nearest raddi store for recycling,” he advises. To sum it all, keeping certain simple steps in mind will do a lot of good to the City.

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