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Once lush, Roorkee vertical gardens now an 'unpleasant sight'

Roorkee: Roorkee administration, that had envisaged curbing the menace of plastic bottles with an innovative idea of using them in vertical gardens (VGs) four years ago, has failed to maintain these gardens in the city.
Nitika Khandelwal, the then joint magistrate of Roorkee, had started work of the vertical gardens on the walls of government offices in 2018, so that the discarded PET water bottles, still a growing environmental menace, could be used in the beautification of the city. It is estimated that there are 2,000 water bottles generally left after use in the town daily as municipal waste.
Khandelwal had made a bank of such discarded bottles at a point near her office in old tehsil premises and appealed to the townsmen that they point instead of throwing them away at the garbage collection points.
Working on the idea, Khandelwal had first beautified the walls of her official residence with VG and had earmarked several highway-facing government buildings for it. However, she could not keep at it for long as she was transferred elsewhere and her successors put it on the back burner.
However, the administration says that the maintenance of the VGs is a big challenge for them due to a shortage of manpower. During Khandelwal's tenure, they had enshrined the responsibility of maintenance and extension of VGs upon the Nagar Nigam but it has done nothing in this direction yet. "As this issue has now come to my notice, I'll check it properly and take action in this direction," Vijay Nath Shukla, additional sub-divisional magistrate, Roorkee told.

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