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Bangalore: City’s green cover under threat?

BANGALORE: At a time when the city’s green cover is depleting, the government is thinking of amending the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act.

If the amendment comes through, anyone and everyone will have the licence to fell trees like mango, neem, guava, sapota, arecanut, jackfruit, without the forest department’s permission.

As per present provisions of the Act, only casuarinas, coconut, erythima, gylerecida, silver oak and subabul can be cut down without permission. But in the amendment proposed by the forest department, 35 other varities have been included. What’s further worrying is that some of these trees are of high biodiversity value. Pongemia, prosopis, rubber, tamarind, burma bamboo, varieties of acacia are also included in the new list.

“The proposal, in its present form, is a threat to the green cover. I understand that the department wants to amend the law because of demands from plantation owners and farmers. But that has to be specified in law. A blanket exemption will only provide licence to chop trees indiscriminately. The move could be a boon to the timber lobby, but will destroy the greenery of Bangalore,” said Vinay Sreenivasa of Hasiru Usiru.

For farmers and plantations only

According to N L Shantkumar, conservator of forests at BBMP: “It’s only at a proposal stage. The government is yet to take a decision. The proposal was put forward to ensure that farmers and plantation owners don’t need to seek permission from the forest department every time they cut down trees. But we don’t know the likely repercussions. Obviously, utmost care should be taken to prevent tree-felling in public places,” he said.

According to forest department sources, the government has sought clarification on some of the clauses in the proposed amendment.

From TOI

Kolkata’s Green Mall aims to reverse global warming

Kolkata, Feb. 6 (ANI): Green is in, and a mall has come up in Kolkata to further the cause of the Green brigade.

Nine kilometres outside the West Bengal capital, the Green Mall is the brainchild of Dinesh Rawat, who started the project in 2002.

Spread over 25 acres, these botanical gardens are an oasis of all things flora.

Most scientists agree that growing trees and plants can curb global warming because they absorb carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere.

Aspiring to play a role in the fight against climate change, Rawat decided to turn to Mother Nature herself.

“I started working on this problem when people in India were not aware of what is global warming. I was concerned about it,” Rawat said.

With over 250 varieties of trees, thousands of plants and flowers and a meditation centre, the Green Mall has become increasingly popular among nature lovers.

Rawat believes that individuals should make their own efforts towards reducing global warming rather than relying on the government.

“Now people have become quite aware, there’s no doubt about it. And people have come to realise this problem is a very serious problem. Government or institutions or organisations, practically, they will not be able to do a lot,” Rawat said.

Rawat’s next move is to export his plants and trees to the rest of the world.

Indian clients ranging from housewives to landscapers buy plants from the Green Mall.

Scientists believe a single tree will absorb approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide during its lifetime. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

From OneIndia

India: Barodian on a green mission, generates jobs for poor youth

VADODARA: He’s on a mission to kill two birds with one stone global warming and unemployment among poor youths. For this, city-based Rushabh Gandhi, 21, started Handmade Hope’, wherein underprivileged youths make paper bags, referred to as ecothene’ sold to provisional as well as medical stores and vegetable vendors to counter the usage of plastic bags.

In the first phase of the initiative, these youths will also be making other products which include greeting cards, decorative bags, designer pots, wall hangings and scribble pads using waste papers and materials.

“I wanted to create a platform that can help do away with use of plastic bags and at the same time help underprivileged youths from slums, streets and foster homes to earn a living using their creative abilities. I thought of using newspapers to make carry bags which can be sold to generate income,” said Gandhi, who also heads the Yuva Unstoppable initiative in the city.

“More than one million plastic bags are used every minute worldwide, most of which will be sent to landfill after single use. This project is about breaking the disposable habit by promoting reusable or recyclable alternatives. It will, at least, help in reducing plastic waste and encourage people to use eco-friendly products,” added Gandhi.

Through the initiative Gandhi has managed to sell over 8,000 ecothene’ bags at the same rate as that of plastic bags. These eco-friendly bags will also carry stickers on various social issues which include child labour, AIDS as well as environmental causes.

Gandhi says that once the youths aged 17 and above are trained, they can use the skills and start working on their own. “Due to lack of awareness, many a times youths residing in slums and on the street end up doing menial jobs at an early age to facilitate family income. Through this initiative, they will be groomed to be self-employed. They can also work in the workshops and train other youths to continue the chain,” he said.

The focus of the initiative is to provide vocational and educational courses that will enhance their knowledge base and develop skills sets which can used to earn a living. In the second phase, youths will be trained to acquire computer skills which will help them gain jobs as data entry operators, graphic designers and translators.

From TOI

Nagapattinam: Forest Department initiates ‘green’ drive

NAGAPATTINAM: The District Forest Department ushered in a green drive at the Collectorate premises here with the planting of 500 saplings on Wednesday. The project was a part of the Forest Department’s ‘greening’ scheme of the Collectorate.

The purpose was to foster more green cover in the district, which had a forest cover of 3.64 per cent. As part of the initiative, about 1,100 saplings were proposed to be planted within the Collectorate.

About 500 saplings were planted initially. The programme envisaged planting of all the saplings within the end of the monsoon period.

The Highways Department had dug the earth at appropriate locations for the planting of saplings. The Forest Department had provided the saplings and the Indian Overseas bank had granted Rs.50,000 for fencing the saplings. Collector C. Munianathan, presiding over the event, hoped that the project would provide a cue to the public to take up afforestation with renewed zest.

V. Thirunavukarasu, District Forest Officer, A. Annadurai, District Revenue Officer, R. Muthusamy, Chief Regional Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, Veerachamy, District Education Officer, S. Yamunabai, District Disabled Rehabilitation Officer, along with officials from the Public Works Department, Highways Department and Revenue Department were present.