With a garden sporting 37,000 plants, the Ludhiana Railway Station is not only the first station in Punjab to have a vertical garden, but the first in the country. With an aim to reduce the use of plastic, and add more greenery to the campus, the initiative was inaugurated on Income Tax Day on July 24. This initiative is the brainchild of Rohit Mehra, an Internal Revenues Services officer.
Inaugurated by Binay K Jha, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT- Ludhiana), Vivek Kumar, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and Rohit himself, the project has already gathered the right kind of attention, since its launch a year ago.
Speaking to the Tribune India, he said,
"Waste plastic is a major environmental concern. It is better to put these bottles to good use by planting small shrubs in them."
He says that a vertical garden not only helps in longevity of a wall as it protects it from extreme weather conditions, but also helps in lowering the indoor temperature by almost five degrees Celsius.
Rohit confesses he drew inspiration from one of his visits to Sri Lanka, where he saw vertical gardens in home terraces too. Instead of using new plastic pots, he promoted the usage of plastic bottles that are used for packing water and aerated drinks. He did a pilot project at his house and on its success, he took it forward to his own office, where today he houses over 18,000 bottles.
In the last few years, Rajat has worked on 75 vertical gardens in Punjab alone, says The Better India.