Walking their way to save city’s green cover
Software professional Satwiki Nair would get disheartened to see people in Mumbai walk past assorted trees without sparing them a glance.
Ten months ago, Nair teamed up with a friend to show Mumbaiites what they were missing. The result was ‘Walk the Mumbai Trees’, a green forum launched by 29-year-old Nair and Lahar Mehta-Sthalekar to organise guided walks for citizens to study trees around the city. Their next walk, organised along with non-profit organisation Bombay HUB, will be held at Bandra this Sunday morning.
“People in Mumbai take trees for granted,” said Nair, who befriended Sthalekar, an architect, during a course in nature conservation and management that they attended two years ago. “They see trees all the time, but they can barely identify them by name, forget understanding their significance.”
The Gulmohar, for instance, is one of the most pervasive trees in the city, but few know that they are not native plants. “They are actually from Madagascar, brought to the city by traders and imperial rulers to be used as canopy trees,” explained Nair.
Since their first trail in Chembur in March 2010, the duo has organised 15 tree walks for groups of up to 30 people offering a complete insight into the histories and peculiarities of trees that are en route.
People who register for the tree walks include professionals, students, housewives and children. While the duo has covered different trails in Dadar, Malabar Hill and Bandra, their favourite area is Chembur’s RCF Colony.
“The area has remained untouched by development so far, and is thriving with indigenous trees of the West coast not found anywhere else in the city,” said Nair, who is afraid many of them will be lost now that a redevelopment plan for the colony has been proposed.
Bengaluru has been ranked 14 of 20 cities in the Asia Pacific region for sustainable development of commercial real estate by global consultants Knight Frank, news agency PTI said. The top five cities are Singapore, Sydney, Wellington, Perth, and Melbourne. Apart from Bengaluru, three other Indian cities - Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai - also made it to the list but were ranked in three of the bottom four places - 17, 18 and 20, respectively.
The India Meteorological Department on Thursday announced the onset of the southwest monsoon over Delhi following light spells of rainfall since early hours of the day. “The southwest monsoon has further advanced into entire Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir; some parts of Rajasthan, entire Delhi and some parts of Punjab and Haryana today, June 30, 2022,” the IMD said in a statement.
Daily Covid cases in Bengaluru city crossed the 1,000-mark Wednesday, with 1,019 cases reported in 24 hours against the 887 on Tuesday. Daily cases in Karnataka were 1,249, which includes 696 backlog cases, according to data from the health department. Two Covid-related deaths were also reported - one from Bengaluru and the other from Chikkamangaluru. There are now 5,707 active cases in Karnataka, of which Bengaluru has a staggering 5,393.
The Haridwar police on Friday arrested five persons in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 35-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter in a moving car in Roorkee. Circle officer (Roorkee) Vivek Kumar said they have arrested five people, including the main perpetrator of the crime. The opposition Congress also questioned the police and administration for their failure to nab them.
Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday tendered his resignation as the chief minister of Maharashtra soon after the Supreme Court ruled that he must prove a majority in the floor test following a major political upheaval with the Shiv Sena, led by long-time aide Eknath Shinde.