KARNATAKA

The cost of keeping it green

The skies not opening up often enough has meant extra work and expenses for the agencies maintaining the city’s green cover. The deficit rainfall has forced the Horticulture Department to deploy additional irrigation measures, usually used during summer.

At Cubbon Park for example, the quantity of water required to cover all the plants is approximately 0.9 MLD (million litres per day). With sprinklers being put to use extensively now, the park authorities are incurring water bills inflated by Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lakh every month, said Mahantesh Murgod, deputy director of the park.

The park, spread over 177 acres, has 200 plant species. The Horticulture Department buys treated water from the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) for around Rs. 20 per kilo litre. The monthly bill comes up to around Rs. 6 lakh. M. Jagadeesh, Joint Director, Parks and Gardens, Horticulture Department, said there are around 40 major gardens in the State. “In Lalbagh, we have 1,600 sprinklers. The problem during dry spells is that the soil is too dry and water from the sprinklers do not percolate into the soil. Now, along with the water from the sprinklers, we are using tap water as well for the dry patches,” he said.

The parks in Bengaluru are the biggest problems. Mysuru’s Brindavan Gardens, for example, gets enough water from the dam site next to it. To maintain the garden atop Nandi Hills, water is pumped from the foothill.



Summer plan

Now, with little expectation of getting any more spells of rain, the department is gearing up for the impending dry spells during winter and summer. “We will start covering the soil with fallen leaves to prevent water evaporation. We will also be spreading mulching sheets and using organic manure,” Mr. Murgod said.

Mr. Jagadeesh added that existing wells and borewells will be prepared for the upcoming months.



LUNG SPACES

There are around 40 big

gardens in the State

Lalbagh is spread over

240 acres and has about

2,150 plant species

Cubbon Park extends over

177 acres and has around

200 plant species


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