Its everbody’s responsibility to make the earth cooler

In Bangalore district, monsoon used to start from 5th of June and end by November regularly.  No one dared to go out without an umbrella.  There used to be 4” – 5“ rain during ‘Revathi’, ‘Bharani’ and ‘Krithika’ nakshatras in April – May, popularly known as mango showers. It was during these rains farmers used to sow gingelly and cowpea regularly. Ragi, Field Bean and Sorghum were sown as mixed crop during Aaridra nakshatra.  There was a popular saying in kannada as “even if you search with a lamp, there would be no rains after Deepavali i.e after November”. That is how rains were usual during the season.

But over the past 30 years, gradually the rainfall pattern has changed. There is no more rainfall according to the nakshatras. Most of the years mango showers don’t occur in April – May. Farmers therefore, have given up sowing of gingelly and cowpea.  Usually, Ragi is sown at the end of July or August and as a result, yields have been reduced.

Surprisingly, 2007 – 2008 was a peculiar rainy season in southern Tamil Nadu.  Usually heavy rains occur in October which are beneficial to paddy cultivation using small tank water. Instead, there were very heavy rains during January and February, which damaged groundnut and mango crops heavily. In Karnataka, the same January and February rains were harmful for grapes, pomegranate, potato, mango and also for harvesting sorghum and chickpea in northern parts of the state.  The seasonaity has not been regular.

This change is not only creating problems in crop cultivation, but also is a matter of concern to everyone.  It is said that many low lying parts of the world would be submerged under deep waters. Perennial rivers like Ganga would dry up.  The temperatures would steadily increase.  More and more cultivable lands would be converted to deserts.  In fact straying of wild animals is on the rise destroying crops and domestic animals.

It is high time that every human being tries to put an end to such a havoc.  As farmers, we shall immediately stop burning our crop residues, instead incorporate them into soil to increase soil carbon or humus which can encourage infiltration of rainwater.  Growing more trees can increase exudation  or transpiration of water,  creating a cooler micro-climate.  Using organic manures can put an end to the release of nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulphide, methane and carbon dioxide into the environment.

Adopting scientific composting and vermicomposting and producing methane gas through gobar gas plants would help checking pollution as well as provide healthy cooking gas for the rural population.  If all the human faeces in the rural areas is passed through gobar gas plants and electricity is produced from the methane gas that comes from such plants quite a lot of pollution could be stopped.  Animal droppings from poultry, dairy and piggeries dumped unprotected, release harmful gases into the environment. These should be used to produce methane gas and also to make compost and vermi compost.

Vehicular pollution is increasing too fast in the country.  Public transport system has to be improved. Heavy taxation of private cars can bring down pollution in big cities.  Planting and growing trees wherever possible can bring down temperatures by transpiration and enormous shade and the leaf litter mulching the baking soils. A huge banyan tree can shade vast areas and keep that surface cooler and transpire millions of litres of water in a year, helping in controlling the heat in the environment.

Protecting water bodies like tanks, lakes, streams would also help reduce temperature increase in the area.  Once upon a time, Bangalore city area had about 150 tanks.  Every time a road is being broadened or a flyover bridge is being built, hundreds of trees are felled without a concern.  It has to be made a practice to plant 4 saplings for every tree cut.  If everyone in the country practices to plant a tree on their birthday and in memory of their elders, instead of spending money and time in organising parties and ceremonies, the earth will become a much cooler planet.

L. Narayana Reddy

Srinivasapura, Via Marelanahlli, Hanabe Post – 561 203, Doddaballapur Taluk, KARNATAKA,

Tel: 9242950017, 09442410056

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