Vertical backyard greets passengers at Metropolis Railway Station

Mysuru: As more people pour into cities, which are constantly expanding, striking that all-important ecological balance becomes extremely important. Among the feasible solutions posited to this problem of ever-decreasing space is the ‘Vertical Garden’. Creepers, and small flowering plants that can grow on compound walls, plants that do not need a lot of space that can be suspended from the rooftops – vertical gardens can offset pollution levels in highly concretised cities. In Mysuru, this novel method has been pioneered by the Railways.
The that was being developed at the time of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the station — the PM inaugurated a slew of developmental projects at the station during a recent visit to the city — now adorns the entrance of the station. The garden, developed by the engineering division of the South Western Railway (SWR), is 10m high and 3m wide and has enhanced the beauty of the station manifold.

Manager of SWR’s Mysuru division Atul Gupta told TOI, “We decided to have a vertical garden at the station to give it a facelift. While browsing the net, I saw vertical gardens at airports, metro stations across the globe. Taking a cue from them, I decided to experiment at the , and I have received very good feedback about it from visitors and commuters.”

Gupta said that the authorities would decide on extending the vertical garden at the station based on public feedback. Challenging claims of vertical gardens not being harmonious with heritage buildings, he said, “Green cover is good for all types of buildings, whether it is a heritage structure or a new one. Crticism that vertical gardens are unsuited to heritage buildings are unfounded.”

Passengers meanwhile are delighted with the vertical garden at the station. Calling for the emulation of the experiment at all railway stations, Shashidhar, a teacher, said, “Air pollution levels at railway stations are very high for a variety of reasons. This garden should become an inspiration for residents in the city to increase green cover.”

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