Just 3.5 pc of citizens in City eco-literate, finds survey

Just 3.5 pc of citizens in City eco-literate, finds survey

Just 3.5 per cent of citizens in Bangalore are “environmentally literate”, a door-to-door survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in upmarket areas like Malleswaram and Rajajinagar has found.

What’s more, ‘Garden City’ has just one tree for six of its citizens, the same as in Mumbai.

In some areas of Bangalore, this ratio is even less.

The shrinking green cover has been attributed to unplanned growth in the last 4-5 years, reflecting lack of concern for environment even among decision makers.

The survey covered 2,000 houses and the respondents, including schoolchildren, were asked to fill a questionnaire. The survey report titled ‘Trees of Bangalore’ was released on Thursday by Prof T V Ramachandra of Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc.

The survey was conducted in coordination with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

To sum it up, Bangalore has a total of 14,78,412 trees while Nagpur has 21,43,838, Mumbai 19,17,844 and Navi Mumbai 4,78,120.

The spatial extent of vegetation in areas such as Chickpet and Shivajinagar is less than a hectare while Varthur, Bellandur and Agara have high vegetation.

While the City is spread across 741 sq km, the area under vegetation is just 100.20 sq km. A person releases 383 kg of carbon dioxide a year while a tree absorbs just six kg of the gas a year.

Vaman Acharya, chairman of KSPCB, said there should be a tree for every citizen.

“We will request the government to make it the norm when we submit the report to it. We will urge it to ensure that three trees are planted and maintained for every tree lost. No tree should henceforth be cut for any infrastructure work without the consultation of the BBMP, the Forest Department, the KSPCB and the Urban Development Department,” he said.

“We have lost enough trees to unplanned development.”

Acharya further said the KSPCB would recommend to the government to plant trees wherever space is available.

“Even a 3X3-foot space should be used to plant a sapling. Small urban forests should be created everywhere like in Singapore where trees are planted in every place available like apartment complexes, commercial areas, government premises and vacant land.”

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