18 September, 2020

Eco-Watch plans an 'urban jungle', breathing life into a clogged city

Eco-Watch plans an 'urban jungle', breathing life into a clogged city
The silhouettes of soldiers and the silence enveloping the sprawling plateau portend a difficult terrain. The shrubs and elephant grass, broken by the snaking tracks, add to the hazardous attributes. The foliage has cushioned the fall of many a paratrooper and served as veil for endless army exercises in the past. Now it is to yield a gargantuan oxygen mint, one planned by a father and son duo to generate limitless quantity of fresh air in Bangalore, a city choking on its own development.

India’s first artificial forest in an urban sphere is what the twosome of Suresh Heblikar, a filmmaker and environmentalist who heads Eco-Watch, and his son Akshay, are engendering here. The arduous task involves growing 200,000 trees in the 400 acres owned by the Army Service Corps’ Centre (south) here. In keeping with its name, Tree-Diversity Park, it is planned as a hothouse of vegetation, nurturing several hundred species of trees. Some are rare, many aromatic and medicinal and others of fruit-yielding varieties—80,000 saplings in the first phase.

For Heblikar senior, an...



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