How green was my city: eco-tourism on wheels shows impact of pollution

Students, scientists and concerned citizens came together today to reconnect with the green spaces in the city and learn about lesser-known sites of ecological significance. The Urban Eco-tourism Bus trip was organised by the Delhi Greens organisation as a part of the ongoing 48C Public-Art-Ecology Festival.

The tour covered the northern part of Delhi with the Bhalswa Lake near Wazirpur, Yamuna Biodiversity Park and Roshnara Garden near the Delhi University North Campus as the tour sites.

People gathered from diverse parts of the city in an attempt to learn more about their city. Some brought along their children so that they could imbibe the lesson of conservation at an early age.

"I want my children to grow up as responsible and aware citizens," said Anuradha Singh, who travelled all the way to North Delhi from the Delhi cantonment area with her daughter and son.

The participants, aged between 6 and 60, gathered at the University Metro Station and were taken by a CNG bus to Bhalswa Lake once a popular picnic spot.

The horseshoe lake, a verdant green area, popular as a picnic site for Delhiites till 12 years ago, has now lost most of its fauna and has been abandoned due to pollution from a nearby landfill. The second leg of the tour, took participants through the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, an effort to improve the damaged wetland ecosystem of the Yamuna.

The Roshnara Park, a Mughal era garden, home to several species of trees and a venue for the 48 C festival, was the last stop of the tour. The trip was in the form of a guided tour through the sites with Fayaz Kutsar, a biologist at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park. The tour also involved extensive discussions about pollution in waterbodies and the Yamuna.

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