One lakh saplings in 11 acres: New botanical garden in Tumakuru to feature dense forest patch

This green intervention of native species would be able to absorb 21,00,000 kilograms of carbon and produce 1,18,00,000 kilograms of oxygen annually

As part of Karnataka’s afforestation move, a dense forest will be created on a patch of 11 acre of land at the 228-acre Botanical Garden Project that is coming up at Doddasaggere, in Tumakuru district, said an official of the Horticulture Department on Tuesday.

As part of the plan, one lakh dry deciduous (trees that drop leaves during dry winter and spring) tree saplings would be planted over 11-acres of land. This green intervention of native species would be able to absorb 21,00,000 kilograms of carbon and produce 1,18,00,000 kilograms of oxygen annually, according to the official.

Joint partnership

To carry out this first of it kind of initiative, Mphasis (F1 Foundation), the CSR arm of tech firm Mphasis, United Way of Bengaluru (UWBe), an NGO that works with communities to take local action for global impact and the state Department of Horticulture have announced their joint partnership.

UWBe would ensure maintenance of the green cover of the forest for three years with support from Mphasis. This would include regular watering, manuring, de-weeding and mulching of the area. Besides these, integrated watershed development, stream restoration, soil cum moisture conservation activities also would be executed at the project site.

UWBe, which already built 280 percolation wells earlier at Lalbagh Botanical Garden, would take up the construction of additional 220 percolation wells at the new park in Tumakuru with the help of Mphasis.

“The existing percolation wells in Lal Bagh have demonstrated multifold benefits. It has helped to address issues like water runoff, flood and a decrease in the groundwater table. The harvested water is used to water 1,850 species of trees in the garden currently,’‘ stated Dr. M Jagadeesh, Joint Director, Lal Bagh.

Green intervention

Just as Lalbagh is considered the lung of Bengaluru, the new green intervention would help improve the air quality, enhance biodiversity, and reduce the temperature in the vicinity, besides building an oxygen bank and carbon sink, Jagadeesh added.

The joint partners are also planning to build over 1,000 percolation wells at various locations in the city. They are kickstarting this project by creating a 4 feet percolation model well at Lalbagh. Each of these percolation wells would have the capacity to conserve 1,28,000 litres of rainwater annually and help augment the groundwater table level in the catchment area.

“By integrating environmental goals into our business strategy, risks and processes, we aim to create a lasting impact on the planet, foster a low-carbon economy and encourage effective waste and water management practices,’‘ said Srikanth Karra, Chief Human Resources Officer at Mphasis.

“We believe in mobilising the caring power of the communities and involve stakeholders, including community members with whom the final ownership rests, thereby addressing sustainability,” said Rajesh Krishnan, CEO of UWBe.

The Horticulture Department had earlier said it would create five botanical gardens along the lines of Lalbagh, at Doddasaggere in Tumakuru, Annakunuru in Chikkaballapura, Dattagalli in Mysuru, Tarakanahalli in Uttara Kannada and Kannamangala in Bengaluru East.

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