Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Carbon neutral campuses in India


The earth's climate is dynamic and always changing through a natural cycle. What the world is more worried about is that the changes that are occurring today have been speeded up because of man's activities. A delicate balance exists between man and his environment.


Indian campus have taken an initiative to come ahead and do their part. BanarasHindu University and Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana campus are on their way to become the carbon-neutral campus in India. The efforts to "go green" would also have an impact on the students.


The South Campus of the Banaras Hindu University is attempting to become the first carbon neutral  university campus in the country, with a massive plantation drive of 1.76 lakh saplings on 400 acres of land.


The BHU V-C officially kickstarted the massive programme with the plantation of 200 Amla saplings on Rajiv Gandhi South Campus. This occasion also marked the beginning of efforts to make the campus first in the country gaining carbon credits after plantation on such a large scale.


BHU has already received Rs 50 lakh under the project and a land area of 100 acre has been demarcated for plantation drive this year. The BHU V-C has already made presentation before the Union HRD ministry, where a number of developmental projects (costing around Rs 100 crore) are in the pipeline, awaiting the approval of the Planning Commission to mark the all-round development of the South Campus.


Navdeep Asija an engineer cum environment activist has decided to make Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College,Ludhiana campus 100% CFL campus in the country. Also to rehabilitate the existing solar water heating system in the hostels. Best practices should come from premier institutes of GNE. This will be the first step towards making GNE 'carbon neutral' campus in the country.


The Electrical Department of GNE would perform "before and after" case study to check the total carbon credit saved/earned. College can generate some revenue through this to make this a sustainable project.


There's a lot more work to be done to reduce emissions and save energy, but climate change looms as the single most important challenge facing the next generation of students.


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