At a time when footpaths are vanishing and so are the greens, here is one initiative that deserves attention. The corporator of Yediyur ward, NR Ramesh, has tried to set an example by going for a decorative sidewalk adorned with plants on Elephant Rock Road, South End Circle.
Ramesh has taken up the initiative to plant disease free varieties on the 9ft footpath and it has been divided into three parts. “The first part is maintained with wasted slabs and on the other side, we have decorated the footpath with tiles. In between we have left a gap of three feet on which we have decorative plants,” explained Ramesh adding, "These plants were specially exported from Korea and China and cost us Rs 11 per sapling. Initially we enquired for such plants in Bangalore and it was costing Rs 110, which was not viable. So we went ahead with these saplings, which we got along with mud and manure. The highlight of these plants is that they come in 18 colours. These are not big trees and will grow only at a 3 feet height."
With this initiative, the corporator has managed to save Rs 23 lakhs, which he has given back to BBMP. "The allocated budget for the footpath was Rs 65 lakhs and we spent around Rs 42 lakhs and it was only possible because the plants just cost us Rs 95,000. We have returned the rest of the money," he stated.
And these plants do not need daily attention. "We have maintained 35 rain water pits at few distances and have also laid pipes with holes along the side. This will help to keep the mud moist throughout the year. This is in a way a blessing for the BBMP authorities who can't maintain the plants on a regular basis. In fact the footpath will not come under repair for a minimum of 8 years. Out of the 9900 BBMP roads, we have 3607 roads, which are mainly loaded with vehicles. It is high time we make rest of the roads turn green with such new initiatives," said Ramesh.
As of now, it is only this one track that has witnessed such an initiative, and according to Ramesh, once the metro work is completed, every footpath in his ward will follow the same model.