The Bihar Post

Patna turns to vertical gardens to fight severe air pollution

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PATNA: With air pollution turning out to be an issue of serious concern for Patna, capital of Bihar state, authorities have gone on adopting drastic measure to improve the air quality and save the residents from lung-related diseases.

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A recent report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Patna, home to some two million populations, as the sixth most polluted city in the world, indication the seriousness of air pollution.

To begin with the authorities are developing vertical gardens on the pillars of flyovers that crisscross the state capital. Flyovers were chosen for vertical gardens as hundreds of vehicles pass over them every day, emitting poisonous gases. Quite many vehicles in use are said to be over 15-year-old and have not been taken off despite orders issued by the state government.

The initiative has been launched by the Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation Limited (BSBCCL) which has been entrusted with the responsibility to build city flyovers.

Authorities said in the first place, they are developing green walls on the pillars of a 2.9 km-long flyover that connects Sheikhpura crossing to Jagdeo Path in Raja Bazar locality. Moe than 1,000 pots with varieties of air-purifying plants have been fitted on one pillar of the flyover.

“These plants have been imported from Kolkata while pots have come from Pune,” BSBCCL’s project engineer Sunil Kumar said. “We are doing this with twin objectives—cleaning the polluted air and at the same time adding to city’s beauty,” Kumar said adding various types of indoor air-purifying plants are being used in the garden to clean the polluted air.

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There are a total of 90 pillars in this flyover and each one will have green walls very soon. “This is the first such project in Bihar,” Kumar said adding the idea would be experimented to other flyovers in the city if it gave encouraging results.

The saplings planted in the pots include haze, snake plants, dracaena and jasmine which the authorities say grow vertically and don’t require enough space to grow.

Authorities say the walls with vertical gardens have shown a drop in temperature by 1-2 degree Celsius and the idea could work wonders if such gardens are developed on a large scale. They informed they have plans to develop more such vertical gardens in many other flyovers in the state capital.

The local residents have hailed the idea of vertical gardens in the city but at the same time, they have sought for taking proper care of such gardens to let them survive for long.

“This is indeed a very good initiative but the question is how long it lasts. I have seen many such projects dying premature deaths soon after their launch with much fanfare,” commented a local resident Rajiv Kumar Singh.

The Bihar State Pollution Control Board had earlier issued an advisory for checking air pollution in the state capital. The steps suggested included stopping burning of garbage and wastes in public, covered transportation of construction materials and banning plying of 15-yerar-old diesel vehicles.

Of them, the third advisory, experts say, requires to be strictly followed to curb air pollution but nothing has been done in this regard. As per a report, there are some 2,000-2,200 diesel autos in Patna which are more than 15-year-old. Likewise, some 25 percent of the total buses plying on various routes of Patna too are more than 15-year-old.

Courtesy: The Statesman

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