In today's time when there is a huge need to recycle waste and reduce the use of plastic, Rohit Mehra, Additional Commissioner in the Income Tax Department, has shown an inspiring path to follow when he used 70 tonnes of discarded plastic bottles to act as planting pots for vertical gardens in Ludhiana.
Aimed at reducing waste of plastic and also as an attempt to reduce air pollution, Mehra said under his instructions, the vertical gardens have come up in many places including schools, colleges, gurudwaras, churches, police stations, government offices and railway stations.
Speaking to news agency ANI on Sunday, Mehra said, “Using at least 70 tonnes of waste plastic bottles as pots, we have set up more than 500 vertical gardens at public places.”
Punjab: Using waste plastic, an IRS officer sets up Vertical Gardens to tackle air pollution in Ludhiana."Using at least 70 tonnes of waste plastic bottles as pots, we've set-up more than 500 vertical gardens at public places," says Rohit Mehra, Addl Commissioner, Income Tax pic.twitter.com/LN6BYjb6VU— ANI (@ANI) December 20, 2020
Speaking about what made him turn to this unique idea of using plastic, Mehra said he started thinking of the copious amount of plastic waste and pollution that plagues the cities when his child some 4 years ago, one fine day informed him that their school had declared holidays due to high air pollution. Mehra said he pondered how the situation has turned so bad that they cannot even breathe in fresh air and provide the same to their children. This made him take note of the worsening situation and he decided to do something about it.
Mehra, who is know as the Green Man of Ludhiana due to his conservation work at the trees, has also created 25 mini forests ranging between 500 sq feet to 4 acres in 2 years, along with the vertical gardens. To broaden his understanding of quick growing of trees, he studied ancient Indian texts like the Vrikshayurveda that talks about the science of growing plants and forest. He also stumbled across the Japanese technique of Miyawaki.
He added, “It is a cost-effective and space-efficient solution for urban greenery. The vertical gardens also save the environment as you reuse plastic wastes as pots. Thanks to drip irrigation, these gardens save 92 per cent water."
Mehra said that after the establishment of the vertical gardens, they had checked the air quality index (AQI) of the city by a scientist associated with the Punjab Agricultural University and found a 75 per cent reduction in air pollution, thus making their venture a success.