In an innovative initiative to reclaim the green areas of the city, the forest department has partnered with other civic bodies and NGOs to develop four green spaces in Gurgaon.
Two of these are defunct check dams and the third is a small forest patch in Kadipur located in Gurgaon city. The fourth area to be made into a wide green belt is the stretch between MDI Chowk and Atul Kataria Chowk. Public facilities such as benches and jogging tracks will be made available at these areas.
“There are very few green public spaces for the residents of Gurgaon. There are several areas under the forest department that are currently encroached upon and can be redeveloped into open green spaces. We are partnering with other agencies that can provide funds to develop these areas,” Vasvi Tyagi, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Gurgaon, said.
One of the defunct check dams that have been encroached upon is the 4.5-km-long Chakkarpur dam near DLF City Phase 4. The area is now home to vendors and illegal hutments. The first 2km of the dam would be redeveloped by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and the remaining 2.5km by NGO IamGurgaon, officials said.
Similarly, the forest department is likely to develop the 7-km Jharsa dam along with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG). Reclaiming the land of this dam may be a difficult task for the authorities as it has been encroached upon by vendors, shopkeepers and illegal construction.
As per the plan, the departments will plant trees in the area, install benches, and introduce other aesthetic and recreational facilities to turn these areas into open public space for residents. However, tiling the areas would not be permitted as they fall under the protected forest zone. The redevelopment is expected to keep anti-social elements away from the areas, officials said.
“If the pilot project is a success, we expect to do this for all check dams in the city. Most check dams have been encroached upon or are lying unused. The areas can be made into good public spaces that are much needed in Gurgaon,” MD Sinha, Gurgaon conservator of forest, said.
The forest department also owns 8.38 acres in Kadipur village, which is an unclassified forest. The department plans to develop it into a small city forest with help from MCG. The area is currently full of wild bushes and is a dump yard for construction debris. Trucks are also found parked in the area.
The fourth area to be developed as a green space is the 2-km stretch between MDI Chowk and Atul Kataria Chowk. The road falls under MCG’s jurisdiction and the forest department wants to get rid of the illegal parking on the stretch — trucks and long carriers are parked along this road. The forest department will help MCG develop a green belt along both sides of the road. This will include planting trees and hedges, and installing benches.