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.