Bangalore Environment Trust Newsletter,
Sat, 03/03/2007 - 18:29 — admin
Some Beautiful Flowering Trees of
Pride of India or Queen's Flower
Bangalore has a rich herittage of beautiful Dowering trees, both
indigenous and exotic. Hyder Ali and his celebrated son Tippu
Sultan got many plants from outside countries to create the
Lalbagh Garden. Later foreigners. scientists and administrators
introduced many more exotics into Bangalore. The scientist and the
nobel-laureate C.v. Raman was a great lover of plants and devoted
his spare lime in watching the colour-play of various types of
Dowers in the Raman Institute. Lalbagh, Cubbon Park and Indian
Institute of Science. Here a few flowering trees of Bangalore are
If I am given a choice to name the most handsome flowering tree in
India, my choice would go to the 'Pride of India'. The well-known
botanist Bor calls this tree the most striking tree in India. So
it isl The tree is extremely handsome when in flower, bearing
magnificent mauve to pink Dowers in long clusters, In Latin 'speciosa'
means 'good-looking', Its generic name Lagerstroemia is named to
commemorate Magnus Lagerstroern (16911759). a Swedish merchant who
was supplying botanical specimens to Linnaeus - the renowned
There are various shades of colours in the flowers of these trees,
some purple and others of different shades of mauve approaching
pink, These light pinkish-mauve varieties are perhaps the most
beautiful. All its colour variations are strikingly beautiful,
deserving Its name as 'Pride of India'. All the colour-variations
exist in Bangalore. These trees flower from late March to May in
Bangalore and some varteties in June/July - thus giving the
impression that it flowers twice in a year.
Many botanists descrtbe this tree as a medium-sized one. So it is
in Bangalore. But one should follow H. Santapau to the Sharavathy
valley, around Jog Falls, to find it growing to a large' size and
great height (upto 20-25m). Its home is in the Western Ghats,
spreading from Goa Southwards through Uttara Kannada and Dakshina
Kannada to Malabar and Travanacore in Kerala. It is also found in
Ceylon,. Assam, Burma and eastwards to Malaya Peninsula and
northwards into China. In the cities this species seldom grows
over 8m in height.
This plant needs much water and is naturally found growing in the
forests along river banks, streams and in low lying swampy
places, It, therefore, has this additional advantage that it can
be planted in swampy and water-logged areas, It is also suited
for planting under urban-forestry schemes, for its shady crown and
showy cluster of flowers.
S. G. Neginhal I.F.S. (Retd)
Harvesting Rain Water
Sat, 03/03/2007 - 18:36 — admin
From Science Express Tue, 14th July '98
The country reeling under severe heat conditions can now bank on
monsoons to improve the depleting groundwater tables. Excessive
tapping for multi-storey buildings. new colonies. 'agricultural
needs. droughts and climatic changes are responsible to the
receeding water table, The solution lies in adopting better water
management techniques like conserving rain water.
Rain water collected on roof tops can be diverted to percolation
pits which in turn direct the water to 'aquifers'. Aquifer is a
saturated permeable layer present in the earths crust. Rainwater
from terraces can be diverted through pipelines to the percolation
Percolation pit recharges water. A low lying area or a foothill
of a slope is ideal for a percolation pit. To construct a pit.
small size road metal and grave are required. There
should be distance of all east 10 feel between two pits. Each
pit should have three feel depth and a circumference of
one-and-a-half feel. Two thirds of the pit has to be covered
With soil. The top. middle and bottom portions should be
filled with road metal and gravel. Bathing water can. also be
directed to these pits or tress. The connecting pipe should
have a 'U' bend which acts as a waterseal by not allowing bad
smell and insects in the bathroom.
Percolation pits can be dug in stadiums and parks. Sand from
the pits should be cleared every six months. This is because
organic particles get accumulated in between the pores. Rain
water can also be directed to a dried up well. Care should be
taken to dig Ole pits away from the sewerage pipelines.
These pits in agricultural lands help percolation of stagnant
water. Dig six feet cubical pits and connect them to wells
with pipes. The two ends of the pipes have to be covered with
net to prevent clogging. contamination and silting of the
wells. Percolation pits recharge water, raise water tables.
reduce salinity. crack formation on building walls and enhance
waste, plastic cannot be decomposed by bacteria or other
living organisms. "You could toss it in the sea or bury it in
the earth. the problem will not go away. It will stay there
and cause damage," says Sujit Banerji, co-chairman, Indian
Centre for Plastic and Environment and vice-president.
Reliance Industries Limited.
The damages it causes are many. Plastic cuts off air supply
to whatever it surrounds. Plant and marine life choke on
plastic bags. Raw materials used to create plastic are
polymers (basic component), to which are added colourants,
plasticizers and reinforcement (to determine flexibility) and
stabilizers (to determine durability). All of the above do
not. a toxic combination make. the plastic industry is
screaming it.self hoarse. What. makes plastic a cause for such
grave concern is the way it is disposed.
Burning. one of the most. popular and ignorant methods of
disposing plastic, is dangerous if not done under controlled
conditions because. for one. it changes the air we breathe.
Temporary help, permanent hazard
From Ind Exp Tue. 4 Aug 1998
The little plastic shopping bag your local grocer generously hands
out to you may outlive all of humanity. In Mumbai annually, over
20,000 tonnes of plastic is left to last, for eternity in
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) landfills.
The fact that plastic in non-biodegradable and just refuses to go
away is the root of all problems. Unlike vegetable and paper
Plastic when burnt releases large. highly concentrated quantities
of carbon monoxide (CO). a poisonous gas. CO is the main component
of automobile exhaust that's harmful to Jife. The other toxins
released when plastic is burnt have more to do with additives that
go into giving plastic its shape. And they are the ones that can
cause serious damage anything from reproductive disorders.
multiple cancers, foetal damage to hormone disturbance and severe
endocrine system damage. "This is just scratching the surface.
research is on globally to delve deeper into the problems
incorrect plastic disposal can lead to." says Bittu Sahgal, editor
of Sanctuary magazine.
Apart from these problems. toxins released also work at corroding
the ozone layer.
Furthermore, some of the additives used to control the physical
properties of plastic contribute to the overall generation of
pollution from the plastic industry - not only in manufacture. but
also in the residues they leave behind.
Incineration does not seem a powerful enough solution.
"Incinerators are the only way of disposing plastic. And they too,
have ta be stale of the art, which involves a great deal of money"
The BMC is currently negotiating with an Australian company to
install incinerators in Mumbai. But senior officials say a global
movement against incineration has slowed down talks.
the money factor is never far behind - the latest technology
doesn't come cheap. and to go for anything less would be a waste.
The only solution for a cash-strapped country like India, Banerji feels, is recycling, the fact
that all kinds of plastic is not recyclable notwithstanding.
It is up to the plastic industry to increase awareness among
Finally. it lies in the hands of people to decide if they
want to help speed along the process or reducing the threat
plastic poses to the environment.
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