Let's make Bengaluru, liveable again,
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I request the Government of Karnataka to convert the entire 119 or 120 acres of NGEF land near Byappanahalli, in Bengaluru, to a park, similar to Lalbagh or Cubbon Park, as soon as the land comes into their possession. We have not developed any such park in the last 150 years.
Lalbagh was developed in 1760 by the then ruler Hyder Ali and now covers 240 acres, with 1854 species of Fauna and flora as per horticulture department.
Cubbon park was developed in 1870 by Mr. John Meade the then acting commissioner of Mysore state and now home to about 96 species and 6000 plants as per horticulture department. Initially the park was developed in 100 acres and expanded thereafter to about 300 acres.
These parks provide lush green paradise, huge environment protection, lung space, etc, etc, of immense value. While, we have continuously benefited from these parks for nearly one and a half century and proudly present them as heritage possessions, we have not bothered to develop even a single park of this size and magnitude, so far. We have a moral responsibility to develop at least one such park for future generations.
The present government has best opportunity to record their name in the books of history by developing a new park at NGEF factory site. I am sure; no government will miss such an opportunity that comes, once in a century, to gift a huge park to our Bengaluru – “Park Bhagya”, which will be real gift for not only present generation, but for many generations to come.
Therefore, without any hesitation we should develop a new park at NGEF factory site - full 200 acres without diverting any small piece of land to any other purpose, including public purpose such as BMTC or BMRCL.
A few other compelling reasons for developing a new park at NGEF site are listed below:
1. The green cover in Bengaluru(we call Garden city!) is reduced to less than 7% as compared to about 68% in the year 1973 as per data from IISc.
2. We have failed to protect and maintain Bengaluru’s gift of nature - salubrious climate, gardens, huge tree cover, unpolluted water bodies, clean air and water, quiet neighborhood and aesthetic natural looks.
3. Our activities in the last few decades have made Bengaluru- one of the most polluted cities. Our air and water bodies are polluted. Noise pollution is at dangerous levels. Our environment and ecological balance are disturbed beyond repairable levels.
4. We have had enough of roads - new, widened, elevated, fly over, under pass etc, in the name of development by cutting trees, encroaching on footpaths and extending right up to door steps. Now, it’s time to freeze this senseless development and expand green cover, at least on vacant land, to start with.
5. While our tree cover is reduced to less than 7%, the traffic is increased, 70 + lakh vehicles plying on roads. Who will absorb the increased CO2 emissions and release much needed O2? Our so called development, buildings, roads, flyovers cannot help; only tree cover can.
6. “The tree”, is not just simple tree, it’s functions include combating climate change by absorbing CO2 and releasing O2, cleanse the air by absorbing emissions from automobile and other industries, cool the atmosphere and thereby conserve energy, prevent surface water pollution, arrest soil erosion, provide food and wood, provide aesthetic advantage, provide canopy for human, birds, insects, squirrels, bees, a whole lot of microorganisms, etc. The trees also provide unlimited health benefits to human beings, both physical and mental.
7. Adding tree cover at every opportunity, to our “green cover” starved city, is the one and only recourse left to make our Bengaluru livable, once again.
8. The funds for developing this necessity should not be a problem – About Rs.1800 crore meant for cancelled steel fly over can be gainfully utilized. Otherwise also, we are much more resourceful today, as compared to year 1870, when Cubbon Park was developed.
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