Promising steps towards nurturing the Environment – afforestation drive and integrated watershed interventions by Mphasis in collaboration with United Way of Bengaluru and Department of Horticulture, Government of Karnataka

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Mphasis (F1 Foundation); United Way of Bengaluru ( NGO ) and Department of Horticulture, Govt. of Karnataka have come together to drive a first-of-its-kind afforestation initiative. Under the initiative, a dense forest is being set up on an 11-acre plot, which is part of the 228 acres Botanical Garden at Doddasaggere Botanical Garden in Koratagere, Tumkur district of Karnataka.

Plan entails, 1 lac dry deciduous tree saplings will be planted over the 11-acre horticulture land. This green intervention by planting native species can help absorb 21,00,000 kilograms of carbon and produce 1,18,00,000 kgs of oxygen annually (https://psci.princeton.edu/tips/2020/8/15/tree-planting-and-negative-emissions). Katrina Mayer says, “Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” This forest will serve as a space to explore native species for students, environmentalists and visitors.

UWBe signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Dept. of Horticulture of Govt. of  Karnataka today as a step forward. As per the MOU, UWBe shall also ensure maintenance of the green cover for the next three years with support from Mphasis, including regular watering, manuring, de-weeding and mulching of the area. Besides afforestation, as a part of UWBe’s integrated watershed development, stream restoration, soil and moisture conservation activities have been planned at the project site.

Just as Lalbagh is considered the Lung of Bengaluru, this intervention will help to improve the air quality, enhance biodiversity, and reduce the temperature in the vicinity, besides building an oxygen bank and carbon sink. All in less than 100 KM from Bengaluru.

 

Apart from the afforestation, Mphasis is also supporting United Way Bengaluru’s “One Billion Drops” campaign to conserve rainwater by constructing percolation wells in the city of Bengaluru. Bengaluru’s Lalbagh Botanical Garden, where UWBe has already built 280 percolation wells earlier, will take up the construction of additional 220 percolation wells with the support from Mphasis to cover the entire campus.

 

“The existing percolation wells in Lal Bagh have demonstrated multifold benefits. It has helped to address issues like water runoff, flood and a decrease in the groundwater table. The harvested water is used to water 1850 species of trees in the garden. It has been a boon for people living in the locality and businesses like plant nurseries. “, Dr M Jagadeesh, Joint Director, Lal Bagh.

 

Additionally, over 1000 percolation wells will be built at various locations in the city. We are kickstarting the same by unveiling a 4 ft percolation well model at Lalbagh for all to see. Each percolation well can conserve 1,28,000 lts of rainwater annually and help augment the groundwater table level in the catchment area. The project aligns well with the Prime Minister’s clarion call of “Catch the Rain, Where it falls, When it falls” under the National Water Mission.

Another significant intervention undertaken toward water security is the restoration of  Dommasandra Lake in Bengaluru. This multi-year project aims to improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, and increase community ownership. This initiative will help the population of Dommasandra Panchayat by increasing the groundwater level and benefit the flora, fauna and aquatic life.

All these interventions are also aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 13 – Climate Action and SDG 15 – Life on Land.

“At Mphasis we are committed to creating an ethical, inclusive and sustainable future for all. By integrating environmental goals into our business strategy, risks and processes, we aim to create a lasting impact on the planet, foster a low-carbon economy and encourage effective waste and water management practices. This first-of-a-kind afforestation initiative in collaboration with United Way Bengaluru and Government of Karnataka, will enable us to combat global environmental concerns such as climate change and global warming. Moreover, with the combined efforts of the campaign, we are taking a huge step forward towards reviving the biodiversity of the state and helping fight the ongoing water crisis.”, said Srikanth Karra, CHRO Mphasis.

“Mphasis and United Way Bengaluru are committed to the cause of the Environment, and we firmly believe we owe it to our future generations. We complement the work undertaken by the Horticulture dept, local administration, and Gram Panchayats, as collaboration is key to all our interventions. UWBe believes in mobilising the caring power of the communities and involve stakeholders, including community members with whom the final ownership rests, there by addressing sustainability.”, said Rajesh Krishnan, CEO of United Way Bengaluru.

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