A star hotel with a difference

BANGALORE, JUNE 16. With pollution becoming a major issue these days, Taj West End has turned out to be a perfect role model with regard to spreading the message of environment.

Situated on a 20-acre land, the star hotel has a 15-acre landscape and a five-acre built up area. There are only two-floor cottages and there is no elevator. People are allowed to travel within the premises by electric trolleys, called ``Buggies'', which are non-polluting.

According to a recent survey conducted on the bio-diversity in the premises, it was discovered that there are 45 species of butterflies and 38 species of birds that inhabit the place. There are 54 varieties of trees with the oldest being the 125-year-old Rain Tree. In addition to these, there are 81 Ashoka trees and 63 Gulmohar trees.

According to the Environmental Co-ordinator of the hotel, Mr. Fredrick H.Royan, no chemical fertilizers are used. One of the most innovative systems in the hotel is the waste water treatment. The hotel claims to have zero waste water as the effluents are treated at the treatment plant and re-used for watering the plants.

Mr. Royan said: ``It is more than an investment because there has been a reduction in the water consumption as well as the bills.'' About 210 kg. of waste water is treated by the plant everyday.

About meeting the requirement of hot water for clients, Mr. Royan said: ``There is a solar water heating system which can retain up to 10 kilo litres of water. This caters to the hot water necessities of our customers and reduces energy consumption.''

The chillers at the hotel are installed with non-CFC refrigerants to keep in line with the Montreal Protocol and helps in 25 to 35 per cent reduction of energy.

For the laundrry, the hotel uses detergents that are bio- degradable. It plans to use bio-degradable washing powder for cleaning the utensils. The room freshners are not chemical-based and are bio-degradable.

Mr. Hegde of the Horticulture Department at the hotel, along with a 16-member team maintain the premises.

Mr. Royan said: ``The people love this place. It provides them a break from the noise and enables them to be with nature.''

All these facilities fall into a larger structured programme called ``Eco-Taj'', a movement to standardise environment- friendly practices in every aspect.

According to Mr. Fredrick, this has been possible because there has been commitment from the top officials of the hotel.