The last climate summit managed to generate a lot of uproar about the health of our planet. There has been a lot of awareness about sustaining the green future. The city of Hyderabad, in its own way, is preparing for a green future and some exemplary efforts by its residents and authorities help and strengthen our resolve.
Authority that Matters
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporationâ€™s (GHMC) Zonal Commissioner (West) Hari Chandana Dasari is an IAS officer who is creating a complete eco-system of recycled plastic production and consumption. Under her aegis, the city is undertaking recycling of old plastic and rubber. The recycled products are being used in public places and government offices, as Paver tiles and other installations.
Dasari is also emphasising on the connection with nature with urban parks around the city, sites like Secret Lake Park, Play Park, Mir Alam Lake Park, and Panchatantra Park. Her other environmental projects include biomethanation plants, waste segregation, and composting drives.
Citizens Who Care
The city belongs to everyone, the responsibility to take care of it and sustain its beautiful green future, logically, is on every citizen. Two such citizens are Hyderabadâ€™s eco-friendly couple Prashant Lingam and Aruna Kappagantula. They specialise in construction with bamboo and recycled plastic. Their enterprise, Bamboo House India, also provides sustenance to rural and tribal communities.
For instance, the GHMC office located in KBPH Colony, Kukatpally has been constructed with hundreds of kilos of recycled plastic waste and bamboo. Add to that, bus and parking shelters, street vendor kiosks, paving tiles and furniture, the duo is leading a recycling solution that the city badly needs to counter its plastic waste menace,
Their journey is not without challenges though. The single-use and multi-player plastic used in furniture and other construction have to be sent to a factory in Gujarat for recycling. Second, sourcing plastic for recycling is an uphill task as most residences and even commercial units do not segregate waste. The city needs recycling units and serious waste segregation efforts so that the plastic does not end up choking the land and water bodies.
Organisations that Deliver
Hyderabad is the IT hub of the country which translates to a lot of infrastructure growth, swanky corporate parks, and housing projects. It would seem that the city is gearing towards a concrete future but thankfully it isnâ€™t so. Organisations such as the Heartfulness Institute are working to plant and nurture thousands of trees to preserve the eco-system. Corporate houses like Google are also partnering with them to take their green initiative further.
The state government initiative, Telangana Ku Haritha Haaram, vis-Ă -vis Hyderabad aims to:
- convert 3800 RTC buses in the city into electric buses,
- colour code waste collection bags for segregating bio-waste, metallic and plastic waste,
- introduce energy conservation building codes.
The success of the initiative has however been susceptible to the water crisis in the state. In early 2019, a master plan for the city of Hyderabad also included an initiative to improve the green cover amidst environmentally responsible infrastructure development.
Challenges to a Green Future
Hyderabad is blessed to have a culture and people that care. The city was synonymous with gardens, lakes, pearls, and pleasant weather all around the year. However, the hectic pace of industrial development and investment in the IT sector has raised critical issues in:
- urban planning and development,
- preservation of water bodies,
- preservation of forests and open spaces,
- upgradation of sewage and solid waste management,
- traffic and transportation management, and
- prevention of pollution and public health scares.
The economic prosperity of the city attracts many people and with them increases the demand for land and quality life. Civic agencies are tirelessly trying to meet the expanding urban sprawl while keeping the environment and quality of life in focus. In order to regulate the expansion of a city and manage its functioning, master plans are made. Hyderabad, though, needs a dynamic plan that will channelize and evolve according to the cityâ€™s changing growth needs and environmental triggers.
While the government, corporate houses, and residents are displaying a remarkable attitude towards adopting a green outlook for a sustainable future, impediments along the way will soon find a solution. Among the many initiatives and preparations to ensure a green future of Hyderabad, the construction conundrum and water crisis loom the largest.
In this regard, green building codes have garnered much speed in the cityâ€™s real estate sector. Taking a pointer from the Hyderabad Institute of Technology and Management (HITAM) and CII â€“ Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad many developers are now constructing green buildings that help sustain themselves partially.
Positive impact on the environment, resource-efficient construction, limited electricity, and water usage, financial incentives from the governments in the form of reduced fees and taxes, are making green buildings much in demand. Moreover, the state is also pushing natural gas expansion so that cleaner fuel consumption adds to the positive environmental change and a greener future.
The water security of Hyderabad depends on the integrated management of the Musi river and the numerous water bodies dotting the city. In addition to it, urban households should extensively practise waste-water recycling and rainwater harvesting actively. According to the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), the Kaleshwaram project has secured the cityâ€™s water future for a coming couple of decades. The good monsoon also meant that Yellampally and Nagarjuna Sagar are also equipped to quench the cityâ€™s thirst for water.
Hyderabad Metro, the second largest in the country, is also progressing towards fast completion. Metro rail decreases the usage of personal cars and reduces vehicular pollution. As Hyderabad Metro integrates the business districts with the residential areas, it is expected to further reduce automobile pollution.
Colour of the Future
The government, civic authorities and exemplary citizens are standing tall to ensure a sustainable and beautiful Hyderabad for the future. Various schemes, pilot projects, and innovative partnering will help the city equip itself for a greener future compared to other states as planning had started early.
On our individual part, we should remain conscious of the environmental impact of our actions.
- Whenever possible opt for organic, environmental-friendly products.
- Carry a cloth bag always and refuse to accept plastic bags from shops and stores.
- Adopt recycling practices and reuse household products efficiently and creatively.
Hyderabad can be green and beautiful with every single effort. Itâ€™s on us to make that change.