Bengaluru, June 4: Naresh Jha (65), a retired government official, rues profusely how Bengaluru has lost its old green glory.
Jha, a native of Bihar, who made the city his home almost four decades back, feels sad that Bengaluru has turned into a concrete jungle. On the eve of the World Environment Day, Jha, who speaks fluent Kannada, says, "How green was my city. Now, it's a concrete jungle. In the last few years, we have lost thousands of trees in the name of development. Our lakes are spewing venoms. Air pollution level is at its peak. Traffic is erratic. But I tell you one thing, Bengaluru even 15 years ago was a totally different place. It was so green and free from chaos. Unfortunately, we have lost its old glory."
However, Jha says he is not an "old dejected man". "My friends and I are planning to plant a few saplings in our neighourhood near the Old Airport road to celebrate the World Environment Day," he smiles.
In Jha's disappointment lies the common sentiment which is shared by a majority of the residents of the city. Perhaps that is why to mark the World Environment Day on June 5 (Sunday), a series of events have been lined up in the city.
The Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment will host an exhibition on environment and confer awards to green activists at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Sunday. At the Richmond Park, located in the heart of the city, the residents and members of Richmond and Langford Town Welfare Association are hosting a nature walk and a tree planting drive on June 5. Similarly, Yuva Srishti is hosting a plantation drive at Bangalore Dairy.
This year, the World Environment Day, is themed around the rising illegal trade in wildlife, under the slogan 'Go Wild for Life'.
This World Environment Day, Bengalureans need to do a lot of thinking. The city witnessed a harsh summer recently when temperature touched 40 degree Celsius. The experts say the unusual rise in the temperature is not due to global warming, but because of high level of air pollution and depleting greenery in the city.