In recent times, I see lots of awareness among many of us to save the environment and most of us are doing their bit in small or big ways. Its a matter of concern that most essential resources, like, water, fuel, trees, air (its so polluted at most of the places) etc are reducing at alarming rate. Here is an update on how some residents took a small step to plant more than 500 saplings on the eve of World Environment Day and have pledged to sustain them on regular basis.

Many of us are thinking of Rain water harvesting to conserve water. Electric car, solar energy options are thriving to save fuel and we are finding alternate fuel for our needs. Nuclear energy is talked about to generate electricity. Better options are evelauted to reduce pollutants in the air. But, one more important resource is trees which is becoming victim of rising population and industrialization. In my knowledge, there is no subsitute for trees and there is no need to highlight benefits of trees here. It will take time to control poplulation and we cannot reduce industrialization as well because it will affect the bare minimum life style. Hence, the best solution is to grow trees as many as possible.
Objective:
To plant about 1000 trees inside the fence of Bellandur Lake boundary, sustain them over a period of time until such a time there is comprehensive protection of the planted treesb
About Belandur lake:
One may click on below links to know more about Belandur lake.

How it all started?
About 6 months back, some of the senior citizens in Suncity led by Mr Ashok Dube wrote to BBMP Commissioner that they would like to do something for the city and environment. Their email was forwarded to Mr Satish BV, Chief Engineer, BBMP II and he got in touch with senior citizens immediately. He, informed that BBMP is planning to rejuvenate the lake and a proposal worth more than 350 Crores is under discussion. Bellandur Lake has recently been fenced by BBMP to avoid unauthorised occupation of land however the fence is open at places hence cattle access is not ruled out. About 2-3 months back, senior citizens also learnt from Mr Jagannath Rao and Mr Satish BV that BBMP is interested in taking an initiative to plant trees with the help of nearby residents. Mr Dube discussed with me immediately and we thought that we must do our bit for environment and plan a major tree plantation drive.
Planning
We came to know that World Environment Day is fast approaching us on 5-Jun-10 and decided to do it on the same day. Another factor to decide date is maintenance and Bangalore has good rain in this month so plants may be able to self sustain themselves and we may need to spend less time in maintenance.We discussed it with members of Rotary Club Bangalore Lakeside, Suncity Apts, Sobha Group of Apts and they all supported the cause with huge enthusiasm. Now, we started planning for the event.

We formed 4-5 teams which are Fund Raising Team to buy saplings of 3ft to 8 ft height of various types and maintaining them for at least one year, Finance Team to manage accounts and to bring transparency, Tree Selection and Procurement team to select and procure saplings, Publicity and Community Participation team to spread awareness among residents, apartments, associations etc, Event Management Team to manage the event on 5-Jun (especially logistics etc).

We decided the scale of event and thought of celebrating the World Environment Day by planting about 500 to 1000 saplings. Mr Dube with the help of above BBMP officials chose the areas to plant trees which is inside the fencing of Belandur Lake near Suncity, Euphoria and Sobha Apartments. Itwas noted that at the boundary of the lake, there will be a 8 feet walkway surrounded by trees on both sides.

Mr Amit Kumar of Suncity designed the logo and posters for the event and Mr Varun Yagain of Euphoria ensured online presence for the event in the form of blogs, googlegroups, email etc.

Execution
Each and every team got in action and many volunteers came together. Trees were finalized, e-mailers were sent for donations and participation, posters were pasted in many apartments, corporates were approached for sponsorships, online account details of Rotary Club Bangalore Lakeside was shared to get online donations (due to high number of IT professionals in the community and many of them travel a lot), finance was managed, coordination with BBMP was ensured etc.

Mr Ashok Dube worked with BBMP officials to ensure that about 1000 pits were dug before 5-Jun and Mr Narayan and Mr Nagaraj from BBMP with some labors managed the task of digging the pits, providing the bamboos, saplings, shovels and any other kind of support to residents. We found that BBMP officials were also equally enthusiastic about the project. Hope, A similar initiative comes from other section of BBMP & they make similar arrangements with Khatha registration activity which is a bane right now.

We divided tree plantation in 3 distinct areas as there was big gap among these places due to logged water, muddy and bumpy terrain. Three areas are:
1. Behind SunCity Apts
2. Behind Euphoria Apts
3. Behind Sobha Group of Apts

We had some meetings one week before the plantation day to allocate responsibilities to manage 3 areas and to arrange basic things, like, water, signages, hand-gloves, snake catcher, some refreshments, one table to keep water, few chairs etc.
Tree Plantation on World Environment Day:
Finally, the day came and volunteers arrived at the spot around 7:30 AM. HSBC sponsored the event with more than 200 trees and about 60 employees participated very ethusiastically. Due to rains on earlier day, the whole terrain was very muddy and bumpy but still about 200 residents (including HSBC Employees) participated in the event which started at 8 AM and went till 12:30 PM. We also had support from BBMP officers like Mr Jagannath Rao and staff especially Mr Narayan, Mr Nagaraj & labors who helped us throughout the event and did hard work of filling the sand in the pits.

It was nice to watch kids trying to understand the process and plant saplings. We had around 30 kids along with their teacher from nearby govt. school at Iblur. We all could plant more than 650 saplings/plants of 3ft to 8ft height. Section wise break up is: about 350 behind SunCity, about 220 behind Euphoria and about 100 behind Sobha Apts.

Last but not least, we were very well supported by Mr Varun Yagain and Mr Jayaprakash from HSBC to manage the Euphoria side. Mr Paritosh Maheshwari, Mr Harshad Dave, Mrs Sonika Dave, Mr Bharat Bhushan, Mr G M Shah, Mr D B Bardhan and Mr Rahul managed the Suncity side. Residents of Sobha Apts and Rotarians Mr Sunil Kand, Mr Vinay, Mr Vinod Agarwal, Mr Ankit Maheshwari, Mr T V Srinivasan and Mr Jiten managed the Sobha Apts side.

We would like to extend our heartiest thanks to BBMP officials and Labors who worked tirelessly to make this event happen. Our special thanks goes to Chief Engineer Mr Satish BV, Forest Officer Mr Jagannath Rao, Mr Narayan and Mr Nagaraj.

This is the start of a nice initiative and now, we have the task of maintaining these saplings and some of us are already looking into it. If you have prior experience of maintaining the plants, than please share with us.

Signing off,
Hariprakash Agrawal

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1 COMMENT

  1. really enjoyed the article

    i really enjoyed reading your article it was very informative.

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