Bengaluru: In a city that has been growing both vertically and sprawling for miles, most of which is concrete, city-based nature activists have decided to follow the pattern. Based on the concept of creating greenery even on concrete, Bengaluru got the first of kind vertical organic garden in a public space in Electronics City on Friday.
“Working in the field of environmental conservation for about 10 years, we saw that the city was being flooded with concrete pillars to support the numerous metro works and flyovers. There was so much real state which lays fallow. That got us thinking about making use of them to add to the greenery,” said Kapil Sharma, co-founder of Say Trees, who were behind this project.
The garden constitutes 3,500 saplings and can be seen at the Hosur Road Electronics City Flyover. Ten specially chosen species of sturdy saplings constitute this patch of neatly packed greenery.
“The entire plantation is organic. Cocopeat is used as base and Jeevamruita will be used regularly to support the saplings. The saplings are sturdy and so will grow slowly, but will be able to endure harsh weather,” Agrahari said. Plants that run into thousands need maintenance, but this garden only takes up 100 millilitres of water every day. “The saplings will be regularly watered using the automatic drip irrigation system which is installed o the pillar. This system will water the saplings automatically every day for about 30 minutes. During monsoon, rain water will be used to water the saplings,” said Durgesh Agrahari, head of partnerships and projects at the organisation.
The framework is made of steel and is at a safe distance of about eight inches from the pillar to make sure the pillar is not affected by the new installation around it, he added. The project that took four months of planning was completed with the support of the Bangalore Elevated Tollway Pvt Ltd.
The advantages of these gardens are many. “They help to reduce the urban heat island effect and smog. Cleans outside air of pollutants and dust and offsets the carbon footprint of people and fuel emissions among other things,” he said.
The organisation is planning to create more vertical gardens on pillars of the Hosur road flyover. As it is expensive for a volunteer group to create these by themselves throughout the city, they are looking towards CSR from the corporate sector. The group also plans to employ a permanent gardener once more pillars have the vertical garden installed.
City based environmentalist Suresh Heblikar believes that it would be a good move to expand these gardens. “If the saplings used are local species, then they would definitely contribute to the environment.”
He said, “Greenery is a good thing but using concrete to grow them is great, but one thing must be kept in mind, they must be maintained year after year to be able to sustain.”