Bengaluru, was once a lush, green city. Known as the "Garden City," its transition to 'Silicon Valley of India," was one this city was not created for. A study by the Indian Institute of Science states that from 1973 to 2014, there was a ten fold increase in the concrete area in the city. At the same time it lost 78% of its vegetation and 79% of its water bodies. In the 1800s the highest temperature in May was 14-16 C. Even three decades back as school children, we remember taking sweaters to school almost throughout the year and were always on the lookout for the evening showers. Now, the temperatures in April and March routinely touch 34-35 C with the highest recorded temperature in the 40s. The green cover has dropped so low that there is just one tree for seven people living here. Ideally, based on the carbon dioxide absorbed by each tree there should be 8 trees for each person, but the situation here is just the opposite which just goes to show how bad the environmental situation in Bengaluru is.
My group is a presently a small one of like-minded individuals. We live in Jigani, a well-established industrial area around 5 kilometres from Electronic City. The establishment of industries has resulted in large scale cutting of trees, and the area is now quite polluted and noisy. This is a repeat of what has happened to the rest of Bengaluru over the years. It isn't possible for us to fix the whole of Bengaluru so we are only going to focus on the South and adjoining peripheral areas.
Planting trees is not rocket science but is also not something that can be completed with digging a hole and placing a seedling in it. There are records created regularly of the same, but that really doesn't make a difference as there is little if any work put in following the grand planting events and most of the trees do not survive.
Our aim is to only grow 10,000 new trees in South Bengaluru and the peripheral areas of Chandapura and Jigani. We will take care of the seedlings and provide regular water and nutrition in addition to protecting them from being eaten by cattle or destroyed by humans.
The costs involved in this project are:
1. The seedlings: we will only plant trees native to the area and choose them carefully to ensure that they can survive without causing any damage to the surrounding area.
2. A protective casing around the little tree to keep cattle away and remind people to not tread on it.
3. Regular watering
4. Labour for the above mentioned points and transportation costs
We plan to use a strategy referred to as the one-litre farming developed by an innovative farmer named Sundaram Verma. This allows us to grow the trees with the least amount of water. The protective casing would be constructed with fabric concrete and economies of scale can bring down the cost of this.
The amount required to take care of each tree from planting the seedling to when it can grow on its own is a conservative ₹1500 to ₹2000. We intend to start planting in the month of June to ensure best results.
One does to not need special permissions to plant trees in Bengaluru, if that does not interfere with power and sanitary lines, road expansion and the alike. To be on the safer side we will inform the relevant authorities of our aim. We will also talk about it with people that live around the area where the trees will be planted.
Please help us in achieving this goal of ours. No amount you donate is too small. An evening cappuccino foregone by 4 people is more than enough for one tree.
We will provide weekly updates to all those that support our cause, if you are free you could also join us.