BENGALURU: Vehicle population in Bengaluru has crossed more than 72 lakh, and on an average close to 2,000 new vehicles hit the roads daily. Amid this burgeoning vehicular population in the IT city, the number of trees is drastically coming down with each passing year, resulting in soaring pollution levels. To keep pollution in check, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has now come up with the idea of growing tree species that can absorb more carbon dioxide and emit more oxygen. The Board has sought the help of Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) to identify tree species that can act as natural air purifiers by more absorbing carbon dioxide.
With existing congested roads, especially in Central Business District (CBD) and IT corridors, traffic jams turn nightmarish at times. Vehicles release harmful smoke and Bengaluru’s particulate matter level has crossed the national permissible standard.
“We need to regulate air pollution levels in Bengaluru. We are seeking IIHR’s help in identifying plant species that can take in more carbon dioxide. Saplings of such species need to be planted in CBD areas as well as on the city outskirts,’’ KSPCB chairman Lakshman told The New Indian Express.
“We are soon going to sign an MoU with IIHR in this regard. Subsequently, we will recommend to the state government to plant those species in the most polluted areas of the city. The government can in turn direct the civic body and other urban local bodies to do the needful,” he said.
“To lead a better quality life, one person needs 10 trees. Another ten trees are needed to negate the harmful effects of every additional vehicle. Bengaluru, which has 1.2 crore population, has less than 85% of trees as against the requirement. There are several species of trees which grow faster and absorb carbon dioxide. But there are no trees which can take more carbon dioxide and at the same time release more oxygen. It will be good if the IIHR research can come up with some useful solutions,” said environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy. He, however, suggested that instead of planting only such species, more plants and trees should be grown across the city.
‘Govt officials should use e-cars’
KSPCB is also planning to direct the state government to purchase electric cars. “The government should direct its officials to use electric cars as official vehicles. A notification will be issued in this regard soon,’’ said Lakshman. Earlier, the Board had suggested car-pooling and use of public transportation by government employees.