By next July, around 100 hectares of land in different parts of the city will become home to five lakh mangrove plants as part of an afforestation drive launched by the forest department's mangrove cell.
The mangrove saplings will be sourced from the two nurseries set up by the mangrove cell at Bhandup and Versova village near Ghodbunder Road. The afforestation effort is part of a statewide plan to add 10 lakh new mangrove plants to the existing cover.
The Forest Development Corporation, Maharashtra, has funded the afforestation project while the land in Thane near Ghodbunder road has been acquired with the help of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Mangrove plantation will also be carried out at Alibaug, Dahanu and Sindhudurg. Around three lakh saplings have been planted at Versova village while two lakh saplings will be planted at Bhandup at the nursery near the Eastern Express Highway in the coming week.
"We want to introduce diversity in the city's mangrove cover through this plantation. We have collected species from other parts of the state to be planted here," said N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, mangrove cell.