The reduction in Bengaluru’s green cover has led to an increase in the Land Surface Temperature.
Bengaluru: According to Dr. Bharath A. H., a researcher from IIT Kharagpur, only 2.5% of Bengaluru is covered in vegetation. The reduction in vegetation from 17.01% in 1992 has increased the Land Surface Temperature (LST) of the city by around 7 degrees Celsius.
Vegetation refers to forests, croplands, and nurseries. Over the years, these areas have turned into concrete jungles. Dr. Chandan M. C., Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, NIE Mysore, said, “On removing the green cover and making it an urban area or concrete island, the heat will be absorbed tremendously by these buildings.” This increase in the skin surface temperature of the earth is called Land Surface Temperature.
According to the Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) revised master plan of the city for the year 2031, the forest cover in Bangalore will reduce to 5.77 sq. km, as compared to 27.73 sq. km in 2015. As per Dr. Bharat, there is one tree for every seven people in Bangalore. But there is a need for 7.5 trees per person. And research also showed, only 1.5 million trees are there to support the population of 9.5 million in Bangalore.
Dr. Yellapa Reddy, Chairman of Bangalore Environment Trust said, “Only concrete forests are left. Granite industry, for metal, road construction has destroyed all the hills and forest around.” He also added that nearly 40 to 50 percent of the population of Bangalore is suffering from respiratory diseases.
An increase in LST is also affecting the rain cycle, agriculture, and aquaculture.
Dr. Bharath said that the increase in temperature can affect human activities, especially health issues. Dr. Chandan said, “To bring down the LST, we are suggesting to expand the forest cover, or the mini forest, or the urban forest. It will be good for the near future.”