Tax Sleuths Add Green ‘Lungs’ To The City

Due to the rising pollution levels in the city, it is becoming difficult to breathe. But the Income Tax Department here is adding green ‘lungs’ to the city by installing vertical gardens on its premises by making use of waste plastic bottles.

The staff have put together a vertical garden comprising over 12,000 plants, mostly in discarded plastic bottles. They claim it to be one of the country’s biggest vertical garden.

The idea came when the department officials visited Singapore and saw a number of vertical gardens there. Though discarded plastic bottles are becoming a problem worldwide, they are turning into ‘green plastic’. What would otherwise had landed in bins and added to waste, are now being used to make the environment greener.

The bottles cut in the middle are drilled into the wall and coco peat, coal ash is put into these before planting saplings. Plants are watered through automatic drip-irrigation system, which releases preset amount of water. Three bottles are placed on top of the other, so when one bottle is watered, drops fall in the bottles below, further preventing wastage.

“In drip-irrigation system, more than 90 per cent of water is saved. Not only this, plants get just the right amount,” said Rohit Mehra, Additional Commissioner, who has been passionately setting the garden at the department, adding: “Moreover, the system works automatically, so one doesn’t have to devote time for watering plants.” “We, in fact, have planted more than 94 varieties of plants,” he says. “More than 90 per cent plants have survived and we continue to add more of these,” Mehra said.

To further save the cost, they have now started making vermicompost themselves in addition to starting their own in-house nursery as well.

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