In a departure from the practice of letting corporate companies maintain traffic islands and plants on medians and circles, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has decided to take it upon itself to execute this greening project. Already implemented in a few areas, the civic body is all set to extend it to the other areas in the city.
A. Narayanaswamy, Joint Director (Horticulture), told The Hindu that the shrub/ sapling plantation project was taken up as part of the larger urban beautification programme.
“Under the project, the BBMP will plant evergreen shrubs and flowering plants at all junctions, circles and on medians on important roads. Work is in progress in many parts of the city,” he said.
He also said that beautification of the 12 corridors that are entry points to the city were under way. The BBMP has also taken up beautification of Sumanahalli Junction, ITPL, Mysore Road, Sirsi Circle flyover, Windsor Circle, High Ground Circle, Basaveshwara Circle and Venkataswamy Circle.
In pots too
“In places where saplings cannot be planted, we are placing them in pots. The objective is to restore the city's green cover to some extent. The plants and flowering shrubs not only help beautify the city but also help bring down the level of pollution,” he added.
Mr. Narayanaswamy said that the department has chosen deciduous and evergreen species. “Species such as tabebuia, lagerstroemia, bougainvillea and ficus are hardy and don't need tending. These shrubs can also be pruned, if required, for some topiary work. They don't need much water and can sustain high temperatures,” he said.
He added that these saplings and shrubs need to be watered only once a week during the summer months. During the other months of the year, they need to be watered only once a fortnight. The water comes from the palike's borewells. “In a few places, we also use treated water,” he said.
Asked why the BBMP decided to take up the project itself, he said that corporates that had tied up with the BBMP to maintain traffic islands earlier had not lived up to the expectation. “They all come forward to adopt islands in the Central Business District as they want higher [visibility]. Initially, they maintain them well. However, over a period, maintenance takes a backseat. There have been occasions when the plants have died due to non-maintenance,” he said.
About the other projects, he said the department is involved in the development of neighbourhood parks, beautification of lakes in co-ordination with the Lake Development Authority and the Bangalore Development Authority and avenue tree planting along with the Forest Department.