OOTY: Raising native and endemic trees and hedges on the roadsides is the natural way to combat air pollution, says V. Sivadass, managing trustee of the Nilgiris Environment and Socio-cultural Trust (NEST) here.
Stating that air health in the hills has already begun to deteriorate due to smoke pollution from industrial chimneys and automobile exhaust, he added that accumulation of air pollutants will, in course of time, form a toxic fog besides adding to atmospheric warming in the otherwise cool and clean air in the Nilgiris.
Trees and other plants are the natural solution for air pollution. While trees like neem and ficus are good in the foothills region, in the upper reaches, people should grow native and endemic trees such as Elaeocarpus (“vikki maram” in Tamil), which is considered a sacred tree in the Nilgiris, and other shoal species which are unique to the Nilgiris to cleanse the air by utilizing carbon in the air for photosynthesis, he explained.
Growing hedges along the roadsides and in and around the compounds in residential areas will add to reducing carbon in the air. Plants such as the basil (tulasi) and aloe vera are from time immemorial, used as air-cleansers. “To Think Globally and to Act Locally” the present generation should be educated on the importance of these plants and trees to combat air pollution, he advocated....