NMMC to expand Miyawaki urban forests, curb pollution through ₹45.80 cr Tree Authority budget
Navi Mumbai: Navi Mumbai is vigorously working to develop urban forests in the city using the Miyawaki technique after the success it received last year
Navi Mumbai: Navi Mumbai is vigorously working to develop urban forests in the city using the Miyawaki technique after the success it received last year.
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Tree Authority has tabled a ₹45.80 crore budget for the financial year 2023-24 to maintain its reputation as the garden city of the state. It has planned expenses of ₹44.70 crore with ₹1.10 crore surplus. The budget stresses increasing the green belt in the city with the existing Miyawaki urban forests being expanded and the roads and dividers being beautified with colourful plants and trees.
“The 108.638 sq km area of Navi Mumbai is a green belt and hence rightly called the garden city. Over 392 gardens, road dividers and open spaces are being used to conserve the environment. The gardens are the lungs of the city and hence we are paying utmost attention to them,” municipal commissioner Rajesh Narvekar, who is also the chairman of Tree Authority, said.
He added that due to the paucity of space available, they are resorting to a maximum plantation in limited space through the Miyawaki urban forest technique and getting support from NGOs and CSR funds.
“We have successfully developed a Miyawaki-based urban forest at Kopar Khairane, sector 14 located in Nisarg Udyan by planting 60,000 trees. In the next phase, 40,000 more trees will be planted to expand the forest,” said Narvekar. “At the Jewel of Navi Mumbai in sector 28, Nerul, a Miyawaki forest has been developed with 1.35 lakh Indian species trees being planted. It is the largest Miyawaki urban forest in the country.”
This year, he added, over 20,000 Indian trees will be planted in sector 18.
The civic body will also conduct a tree census at a cost of ₹3.5 crore after eight years. The last tree census in 2015 placed the number of trees at 8,57,295. NMMC estimated the present count to be around 12.5 lakh trees.
“NMMC has so far developed 182 gardens and a green belt at 116 open spaces. There are also 22 tree belts and 15 circles developed while 72 road dividers have been beautified with plants. Jogging tracks and open gyms have been developed in the gardens for the citizens’ health. In areas where there is little space for gardens, we are taking steps to acquire land there. Along with the gardens, open spaces are also being beautified,” added Narvekar.
In 2022-23, Navi Mumbai topped in the ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ campaign initiated by the state government to keep the city clean and green.
On other plans, Narvekar said, “To protect the environment, we are moving towards a plastic-free city by taking requisite steps. We have a dual objective of curbing pollution and conserving the environment. We want to provide a clean and pollution-free environment to people to ensure their good health. Environment conservation through tree plantation and conservation is hence our top priority.”