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Green cities

Green cities

Sentinel Digital Desk

On the occasion of World Environment Day, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal called for developing Guwahati as a green city. The Kamrup Metro administration unveiled a one-year action plan to preserve the ecosystem and biodiversity of the city. This would include identifying Guwahati's open spaces for re-greening projects, preserving its wetlands and water bodies and clearing encroachments from channels like the Bahini-Bharalu and the Brahmaputra river-front. Since Guwahati has already made it to the first list of smart cities, planned tree plantation to regenerate its green lungs is the need of the hour. Despite its unplanned growth and garbage problem, Guwahati is still one of the greener cities in India, though the likes of Chandigarh and Mysore draw much more attention. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has meanwhile called for creating 'urban jungles' in 200 cities and towns across the country. Noting that most cities have gardens and parks but no forests, he has identified forest department land in cities lying fallow or degraded, where urban forestry can be carried out with people's participation. It remains to be seen how many city dwellers get the space to plant trees, take selfies and share it, as exhorted by the minister. But it is laudable to strive constantly to increase our green cover. City planners and dwellers also need to keep interacting how to keep most activities environmentally sustaible. This includes the concept of energy efficient 'green buildings' to reduce carbon footprint, along with conserving water and recycling waste. Our concrete jungles will need such buildings as much as trees to turn green.

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