Noting that Bangalore is losing its Garden City tag, Prof J Srinivasan, of the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, said much needs to be done to make the city turn over a green leaf.
“It is not easy with a city like Bangalore, with a population of 10 million, which has become a grey city. Mysore with a population of one million, can easily go green,” he said. Srinivasan delivered a talk on ‘Making Bangalore a Green City’ at an Earth Day seminar at IISc on Tuesday.
What Needs to be Done
The city has been allowed to grow beyond control, Srinivasan said. He outlined issues like garbage management, water and power scarcity, pollution, etc and suggested remedies.
Decentralisation of waste management may hold the key to tackling the city’s persistent garbage crisis, Srinivasan said.
Encouraging citizens and government bodies to take the solar route will do away with shortage of power, he insisted. He cited the example of the main building of IISc which is being powered by solar energy using photo voltaic cells on the Tata Memorial Library building.
“The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission buys surplus solar energy at `7.20 per unit (with subsidy) and `9.56 (without subsidy).This is encouragement for all to invest in solar power,” he said.
Noting that cases of asthma have tripled in the last 20 years in Bangalore, Srinivasan attributed air pollution to the use of cars and air conditioners. “Users must be penalised, only this can decrease pollution. Those who take public transport and pedestrians and cyclists must be encouraged,” he asserted.
A Drop for the Future
Towards resolving water shortage in the city, Srinivasan said all buildings must practise rainwater harvesting, recycle water and rooftop agriculture. Lakes must be preserved and detoxified and though the city faces acute water scarcity, borewells are an unsustainable solution, he stressed.
“As of now, we pump 1,500 MLD of water from Cauvery, which is 100 kms away, to a height of 300 kms to Bangalore, using a lot of power. This is unsustainable. Someone suggested pumping water from the Linganamakki Reservoir which is 400 kms away, another unsustainable solution,” he said.