Situated in close proximity with Maharaja Agrasen Marg and Mohan Nagar Link Road, Sector 14 stands apart from other sectors in the region because of its well maintained green cover. With numerous trees and freshly trimmed grass, it is hard to believe that the green belt, only two years ago, was filled with garbage and poorly managed hedges.
Even as the residents of the area continue to struggle with civic woes, they have not left any stone unturned in nurturing the sector’s green cover. The initiative to revive the green belt was taken up in 2014 by Roop Chaudhary, a resident of the sector.
“The green belt lies just in front of my house. It was earlier being used as a garbage dump, where all the trash from the houses in the area was collected and thrown. The trees were dying and there weren’t any grass or plants left,” said the 54-year-old.
He says that once he started getting the green belt cleaned, residents stopped dumping garbage in it.
“I started working to clean the green belt in November, 2014. The first day we had to get a JCB to remove all the garbage. Then I covered the ground with manure, so that grass could eventually be grown. Once people started to notice the work I was doing, they stopped dumping garbage and even started to volunteer to join in,” said Chaudhary, who has a printing business.
Today, Chaudhary is joined by five more residents of the locality — Ankit Chaudhary, Arun Tyagi, Vinod Sharma, Aman Bhardwaj and Gaurav Sharma — in maintaining the green belt.
He has also employed some of the slum-dwellers living in the sector as gardeners, who have been taking care of the green belt since the last two years. “A family from the slums has been employed to maintain the park for a monthly salary. Though they did not know much about plants or gardening initially, they have learnt the required skills while on the job,” he said.
Though the green belt always had a few trees, they were in a bad shape. However, with the residents’ efforts, many have been revived and more trees such as Neem, Sal, Gulmohar and Mahogany have been added, providing ample shade and clean the air in the region.
Since there is no park in Sector 14, the green belt is nothing short of a boon for the residents. “Every morning, residents from not only Sector 14 but other areas also come here for morning walk. The belt also serves as a resting place for daily wage workers,” said Ritu Raina, a resident of the sector.