Soon, the air quality around the Raj Bhavan Road will get the much-needed attention that it deserves.
As a part of the exercise undertaken by the horticulture department to improve the green cover in and around the Raj Bhavan, the air quality around the area, especially along the Raj Bhavan Road will be salvaged.
The horticulture department is working on installing an air quality monitoring system along with misting and foliage spray instruments at the Raj Bhavan. The instruments will give a canopy wash and will increase the suspended particulate matter trapping capacity of the existing plants and trees.
Noted environmentalist, A N Yellappa Reddy, expert committee member of the horticulture department working on the project said the suggestion was made as part of the ongoing works on improving the landscape and biodiversity of the Raj Bhavan. It has been well received. The drive will start at the earliest. By making Raj Bhavan a “controlled area”, the air quality around it will improve and the commuters will benefit as well.
At present, the trees in Raj Bhavan are highly affected because of the increased vehicular rush. 1-2 mm thick black soot can be seen on the leaves of the trees at the Raj Bhavan, the planetarium, the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain and other places up to the Le Meridian hotel. A layer of oil and grease, to top it.
There is an increase of unburnt hydrocarbon particulate matter by 30-35% in the atmosphere when vehicles run idle. This is especially seen around the Vidhana Soudha and from the Chalukya Circle till the Kumara Krupa Road, Reddy said.
The horticulture department had planned to place the same type of instruments at the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, but as it is not well protected, there is a fear of the instruments getting damaged or lost. However, in the wake of increasing density of vehicles, the horticulture department has asked the planetarium officials to find suitable places.
The horticulture department has also decided to compare the air quality data with the data after the trees are given the canopy wash. Reddy said that this will prove to the government the importance of canopies.