Friday, February 12, 2016

Leopard Lesson

Its been a while I pondered upon anything else except my daughters thoughts. A hyper active baby will never let you think anything else except her.
Staying home kind of made my brain foggy, I haven't really sorted it out to suit the stay at home schedule. My schedule back seated many of my activities one of which is writing. The very first chance I got to write is today and here I go typing down my thoughts.
While am here temporarily put up in my hometown since the new year started, the news about Leopard creating a furore in Bangalore makes me think about it more as an environmental engineer than any common person. Some people said its the leopard which sneaked out of its habitat and is going wild in the city. While some conservationists say it is the people who have inhabited the forest zones and encroached the animals residences.

As an environmental engineer, I would partly agree with the second argument. But I would also like to add that out of the thousands of developments happening in and around Bangalore, how many of them cater to the real needs apart from the investment interests of the rich. In 2012, there was a survey that revealed that Bangalore has got about 30% of unoccupied flats/homes. This figure must have definitely gone up by now. The development sprawl has outrageously erased the boundaries of different sensitive zones. Especially those zones that are typical bird, animal and insect habitats.
Its not just the greed of the development companies but the craze of investment by the rich to own two or three flats/homes because they can afford to. But are they interested to rent it out? Not always. Many flats are kept unoccupied for years. In some cases, the owner of the flat stays outside the country and doesn't really care to rent the flat/home. This investment interest of common people and land lust of the development companies are eating up the green cover of the city.

I wish the government sets strict guidelines to save the little green spaces left in small pockets in the city. Once known as garden city of India, now Bangalore turns up no less than a concrete jungle. Many locals and immigrants keep ranting that there is a drastic variation in temperatures with increase of this sprawl. Yet there are many development companies who are not responsibly developing the land but their greed to cash in as much as land to earn extra is killing the left over pervious lands.
Here I am cribbing about the developers but forgot to mention the common people who build homes without leaving any set back limits and just go on expanding the building as much as they can. Having worked with couple of clients who wanted me to design a home for them, I could somehow convince them to leave setbacks and green space just to add a little breather to their homes. But how many such people are convinced to do so and how many designers are putting an effort to remind this aspect.
We all of us have created problems such as excessive deforestation, encroachment of animal habitats, irresponsible sprawl, investing in properties whether needed or not, building spaces more than required, leaving zero setbacks, erasing the green cover to add more built up space etc. In short our concrete lust is just veiling up to show us the real picture. This leopard wander is just another reminder to us. Dried up bore wells, increasing temperatures, high levels of pollution, none of these effected us. Will a leopard do the job??
#LeopardinSchool #Bangalore

P.S I just realized that I had written a similar post back in 2012.