Delhi’s first bamboo park to come up along Yamuna riverfront
The park will be spread over 10 hectare on the western bank near the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, and the Delhi Development Authority will plant 20,000 bamboo saplings of 15 varieties this monsoon season.
Delhi’s lieutenant governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena on Tuesday laid the foundation for the development of the Capital’s first bamboo theme park on the Yamuna riverfront as part of the river’s ongoing rejuvenation project.
The park will be spread over 10 hectares on the western bank near the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will plant 20,000 bamboo saplings of 15 varieties this monsoon season, officials in the know said.
Speaking at the event, LG Saxena said, “The entire area has been categorised into two parts--a bamboo recreational area, primarily in the greenway zone, and a bamboo plantation along with other riverine plantations. ‘Baansera’ will contain different varieties of the bamboo plant, especially procured for this area. The park will also have amenities designed in bamboo, which is an eco-friendly material, including kiosks, huts, a watchtower and seats for public use in the greenway area along kutcha paths.”
East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir, Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs and DDA members Vijender Gupta and OP Sharma, Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar and DDA vice-chairman Manish Kumar Gupta were present at the event.
The LG said that the plantation of bamboo on a large scale will help address the Capital’s air pollution problem significantly because bamboo produces about 30% more oxygen even as it consumes far less water and enriches the soil.
In June this year, the LG had directed the DDA to start work on this park. DDA officials said that currently 10 hectares of area are being developed, but more area will be developed later.
“In July, 20,000 saplings of 15 varieties of bamboo were procured from Assam and a nursery set up so that the saplings are adapted to the climatic conditions of Delhi in time for planting this monsoon season,” a DDA official said.
The LG had also instructed the DDA that a depression on the bank--spread over 2.5 hectares--be developed into a water body, which is now ready.
“A bamboo café is also proposed. Large spaces for congregation have been designed with live bamboo plants forming a curtained enclosure,” the LG said.
The Delhi LG also spoke about bamboo as a source for various economic activities such as furniture-making, incense sticks etc, that can help create employment opportunities and augment incomes in Delhi.
However, ecologists say the bamboo plantation will serve no ecological purpose on the floodplains of the Yamuna.Vijay Dhasmana, an ecologist who is also the curator of the Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram, said bamboo is not native to Delhi and while it can be grown in some parts of Delhi, it will serve no ecological purpose. “The floodplains should be left alone to carry out their natural process of regulating the flow of the river during the rainy months and even if plantation has to be done near the floodplains, they should be species native to the Yamuna. We can find bamboo in Delhi in places like Sunder Nursery for instance, but they serve no ecological purpose, especially on the floodplains,” he said.