Green, Greener. Blue, Bluer.

This post is about the various initiatives that are currently under way to make our campus bluer and greener than it has been. Given the fact that when we got our campus in 1974 it was, to put it mildly, bleak the change in these forty odd years has been quite phenomenal. I recall visiting here first in 1980 when there was little more than the CIL building and the sheds… It has taken considerable effort of a large set of dedicated people to transform it to what we see today, the lakes, the patches of dense woods, the blue and the green.

There is a tree planting drive being undertaken by the Hyderabad Metro at this time- 40K trees all over the campus, with a promise to take care of the entire project including maintenance of the saplings, providing tree guards and fertilizer for the next 6 months. Earlier major efforts of this kind have been undertaken, most notably the  Energy Plantation Project (1985-1992) that was sponsored by the Department of Nonconventional Energy Sources (DNES). The idea was that the trees would be harvested periodically for biomass. That did not happen, and as a result we have large green tracts. The trees are not ideally suited for the region, though, so in the coming year we will see how to systematically replant some of these areas with indigenous flora.

The photographs in this post are through the kind courtesy of Prof. M N V Prasad- the dry scrub that was, the Bignoniaceae in bloom, the plantation drive in 1986- and these should give you an idea of the scale of the work that was involved, and comparatively how much easier we have it today…

The lakes are another issue, again being newcomers, at least at the sizes they are now. Peacock Lake, Buffalo Lake (or Gundla Kunta, its other name), as well as a number of unnamed but large water bodies that dot the campus are all in need of three things: Cleaning, Desilting, Strengthening. Sewage from the hostels and other buildings flows freely into all the lakes- the illegal canteens being among the worse culprits. Mercifully the Engineering branch is looking into some of this, but we need more action. The lakes are also getting deepened, thanks to the GHMC Commissioner and his recognition of the University’s efforts, and there is a concerted move to strengthen the check-dams and bunds on the campus.

You will all have seen the visible results of the campus cleanliness drive. Please help in the afforestation as well as in water preservation. Several students have come forth and offered their help. The NSS coordinator, Dr Srinivasa Rao as well. The efforts of Profs. Sachi Mohanty, A C Narayana and others need to be both acknowledged and bolstered, to make the campus green greener and the blue bluer!

PS: Suggestions and photographs welcome.

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3 thoughts on “Green, Greener. Blue, Bluer.

  1. The efforts of Prof. Sachi Mohanty and Prof. A.C. Narayana are laudable to make the campus greener and bluer. In fact such efforts have to be made regularly and not as one time measures. While Sachi’s effort is visible until now (now disappearing because of the rejuvination of the weed growth with the onset on monsoon) on the campus, Narayana’s effort will take time to show the result and will depend on the rain fall. What is unfortunately not visible is the required coloured (green, yellow and blue) bins at different locations in the campus and esnure that the waste is disposed in a proper way. We still find the littered B’day circle on morning walks and the piece of papers thrown around the campus. Hope there is some one to look after such issues as well. Otherwise, Sachi’s efforts, I am afraid, will not give the expected result to show a clean campus to the visitors and especially to the NAAC team.

    Since a reference has been taken to the DNES -EPDP (Energy plantation demonstration project), it may be worthwhile adding a little more details of the project that was operated by University, largely through the Department of Plant Sciences. The DNES granted EPDP in two phases. Phase I for 120 hectares and phase II for 400 hectares of energy plantation. The programme was not a regular tree plantation programme, the kind that we have planned now. It was an energy plantation programme to make the campus self-sufficient in energy requirements with the usage of biomass.

    Some time in 1988, the then Vice Chancellor constituted a committee of faculty members from School of Life Sciences (then a composite school) who have background in botany to work as a team under the direct guidance of Prof. V.S. Rama Das (as Vice Chairman for the committee) where Vice Chancellor was the Chairman. The committee has used the grants for only 320 hectares (out of the sanctioned grant for 520 hectares of EPDP) for various reasons. The committee members worked on 3-months rotation as convener of the project and completed the task. Several of the workers who worked for the massive energy plantation are now working in different sections of the University. Thanks to the Administration for recognizing their hard work.

    As one of the members of the EPDP committee (along with Profs. R.P. Sharma, A.S. Raghavendra, M.N.V. Prasad, K. Seshagirirao and K.V.A. Ramaiah), I wish to draw the attention of the readers that to the difference between the DNES-EPDP and the current massive tree plantation drive where the objectives are different. Therefore, the chocie of tree species also would essentially differ.

    Let us congratulate the Vice Chancellor for taking steps to demonstrate to the society that the University can make the green-greener and the blue-bluer in the years to come.

  2. It is heartening that you are taking initiative to make our campus much more beautiful. I want to bring two issues for your consideration. One is that administration should take necessary steps to dispose waste material in proper manner. I used to find waste material is being disposed at places like beside DST auditorium(particularly after seminars and conferences) and near non-teaching staff quarters. My suggestion is that campus administration should start some programme regarding waste management.Second, apart from protecting water bodies from pollution, administration should take necessary steps to protect students from water bodies. This is a very serious issue, where administration should take steps in this regard. In monsoon semester of 2011-2012, a student,named Mr. Ratan Kumar, of communication was drowned in a lake, which has caused deep and unbearable agony and pain to his family members and friends. Just keeping boards which show ‘don’t go beyond this point’ and ‘swimming is strictly prohibited’ would not help. Administration and student union should educate new students regarding the kind of dangers involved with these lakes. And, I also request student community not to break bottles here and there.

  3. sir,
    The tree plantation drive is indeed a noble one.
    However, we may make this more meaningful by choosing useful varieties of trees . For example, by planting fruit bearing trees in small clusters near the hostels, we could have an added benefit of providing fresh fruits to students free of cost.

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