Taking a cue from the pre-monsoon showers, the forest department is planning to start a natural regeneration model to increase the green cover in the Aravallis.
This has come at a time when the state is suffering from dearth of forest and the government is under pressure from green activists to increase the forest area.
Though every year, a large number of saplings are planted in various areas of the city, the survival rate of the saplings is not high. So, with a view to manage the forest cover properly, the officials have come up with an innovative idea -- to restrict movement of man and animals in certain areas and allow natural growth of forest with minimum intervention of forest officials.
Taking proper care of the saplings is difficult in a state which is rain deficient and where the groundwater table is depicting at an alarming rate. “The entire process of natural regeneration is to bring back the forest on its own. We are trying to concentrate on local species of plants,” said a forest official, who added that this season, the department is not planning any big plantation drive and will focus on natural regeneration.
Conservator of forest (south circle) MD Sinha said as the Aravallis has only 15-20 cm of soil depth on its slopes and since the region also gets only 12-13 rainy days in a year, it is a difficult to undertake plantation.
“The plan is to restrict human and animal interference in certain area of the Aravallis which can develop a good forest cover in the next few years,” said Sinha. A similar model has been successfully tried in certain parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
“The old Aravallis range had dense forest cover; rapid urbanisation has destroyed it. This process of regeneration will improve the biodiversity of the region. “Every district will adopt this model in 100 hectares this year. The area will be fenced and animals will not be allowed to graze till trees grow to a certain height,” Sinha said.