Kachra Chowk was an unusual name, a revolting name. The place reeked of waste rotting on the dry lands. It was a dust bowl. But that has changed.
With the civic body failing them, local residents took the matter into their hands. They decided to clean the area and beautify it. They even renamed it as Khushboo Chowk.
A group of residents and NGOs came together on Wednesday and planted 450 fragrant shrubs such as raat ki raani, jasmine, mogra and murraya to reduce the foul smell. They plan to cover the chowk located on Faridabad Road with beautiful, hardy shrubs that can survive in the dry lands here.
“Unlike Europe, India has many dry, dusty patches of land. They cause dust pollution. Since grass doesn’t survive here in Gurgaon, we plan to plant bushes in the area and reduce dust,” said Rachin Sharma, a resident of Valley View Estate.
Sharma recently joined a group of residents that plan to beautify the area. He said as more and more people supported their cause, he created a public forum on Facebook last month. The page was called HaraBhara Gurgaon. “Soon, 112 people joined the page,” he said.
The volunteers believe if each of them plant a few trees over weekends and nurture them, it will make a big difference to the city.
Uthaan, an NGO that works in fields such as vermiculture, organic cultivation, animal welfare, conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels and women uplift, also joined the mission.
It then roped in young volunteers of Clear Trip. They donated and planted fragrant plants at the chowk. After a month-long discussion, the residents began working on their project.
“In the next two months, we will plant hundreds of saplings around the area to increase the green cover,” said Sameera Satija, a resident.
Sanjay Kaushik, president of Uthaan, said residents would organise birthday parties on the stretch to spread awareness about the initiative. “One woman will plant around 100 saplings on her son’s birthday tomorrow. People are excited about the initiative,” said Kaushik.
“The debris dumped along the road has turned the area into a dumping site. When the civic bodies are unable to act, citizens have to clean the city themselves,” said Rahul Chandola, resident of H-Block, DLF City Phase I, who resides near Kachra Chowk.