Vast amounts of water needed for the grass beside the tramlines

The grass being grown by the kilometer alongside the new tramlines is extremely expensive to install and maintain, provides no shade and is probably destined for an early fate. Horticulturalists believe that compared with the trees that were cut down to build the tramway, grass was an unfortunate choice, to say the least. Thirsty And grass needs vast quantities of water. Official statistics say that 0.6 hectares of lawn require 42 cubic meters of water per day, while 150 trees and 8,000 shrubs require 32 cubic meters per day. Doubts have been expressed about the viability of the grass, since some of it has already dried out. Between the tramlines, the grass is planted in a closed cement tank 20 centimeters deep. Michalis Stoyiannis, president of the Horticulturalist Contractors Union, says this cement structure raises the temperature by 8 degrees Celsius, and the movement of the tram will create even more heat. Hence vast amounts of water will be needed, with uncertain results. Stoyiannis also has serious doubts about the underground watering system that has been installed. «It is a continuous network without sufficient runoff,» he explains, «which means some parts will get overwatered and rot while other won’t get enough water and will dry out.»

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