Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Retired techie takes up green crusade

Epari Krishna Rao does not believe beautification of the city is the responsibility of only the municipal corporation and the development authority.

By Sunil Patnaik in Berhampur
  • Published 22.06.18
  •  
A section of the mini park. Picture by Gopal Krushna Reddy

Berhampur: Epari Krishna Rao does not believe beautification of the city is the responsibility of only the municipal corporation and the development authority.

The 75-year-old, who has already spent lakhs of rupees from his own pocket to plant trees in the inner ring bordering the boundary of Khallikote College Stadium since 2010 to help the morning and evening walkers, is now concentrating on beautification of the busy Kamapalli Square and make the environment green.

Retired electrical engineer Rao spends around Rs 10,000 a month from his pension to convert a patch of land into a park. "When the statue of former minister and social activist Brundaban Nayak was shifted to widen the Kamapalli Square in 2016, the Berhampur Development Authority (BDA) installed the statue in a small patch of land in a corner. The area was barricaded with iron pipes. When I saw it, I decided to develop the space as a mini park. I took the BDA's permission as well," he said.

He bought good quality grass and decorative plants from Bangalore. He has installed the statue of a soldier with a cannon and the sculpture of a soldier's boot inside the park. Though there are high mast light at Kamapalli Square, Rao has installed a solar-powered light in the park apart from a mobile decorative mini water fountain which, he brings from his house every day.

"The biggest problem is that there is water scarcity. I have to purchase water from private parties to water them. I am growing old and get tired maintaining the park. I am looking at the civic body and the BDA to take over its maintaenance," he said.

"Rao is selfless and we help him in this endeavour with our physical labour," said Balkrishna, who, along with Shivalingam, both Rao's friends, help maintain sanitation. "I used to spend Rs 6,000 a month to maintain the plants, clean the gallery and the 500-metre long and 5-feet wide concrete passage to facilitate the morning and evening walkers at Khallikote College Stadium eight years ago. This work gives me satisfaction," he said.

Despite Krishna spending lakhs in developing the greenery at Khallikote College Stadium, he never takes the fruits and flowers. When green banana tree bears fruit, he calls a cook, makes fries out of them and distributes them to morning walkers. He also gives away the ripe bananas.