Ghaziabad civic body to build 20 ‘mini forests’ by year-end
The Ghaziabad municipal corporation plans to create 20 ‘mini forests’ across the city by the end of this year in a bid to improve the greenery and forest cover, said officials on Wednesday. Officials added that four other plantation sites which were developed as a pilot project have shown a plant survival rate of about 95%.
The corporation took up the four sites at Sai Upwan (city forest near GT Road where it planted 2,100 trees), Pratap Vihar (5,000 trees), UP Gate (5,000 trees) and Dayanand Park in Kavi Nagar industrial area (about 25,000 trees).
The plantation drive at these four sites was initiated in 2021 as part of urban forestry and to spruce up the green cover.
“Overall, the sites have shown a high plant survival rate of about 95% and one of the sites at Sai Upwan has almost 100% survival rate due to its proximity to the Hindon river. The plantation drive at these sites was taken up under the ‘Miyawaki’ method (planting two to four trees per square metre area). Further, we have planned to create 20 more such sites by the end of this year,” said Mahendra Singh Tanwar, Ghaziabad municipal commissioner.
The 20 proposed sites include a major legacy-waste cleared area at Siddharth Vihar where there is a proposal to plant 50,000 trees.
A similar activity of about 30,000 trees has been planned at Shakti Khand legacy-waste cleared site in Indirapuram, while 10 other sites include industrial areas where a total of 50,000 trees each will be planted, said officials.
According to the ‘state of forest’ report released by Dehradun-based Forest Survey of India (FSI) earlier in January, Ghaziabad district has a total of 1,179sqkm of geographical area while only 25.22sqm (2.14%) is under forest cover.
The report said that there has been no change in the status of forest cover in the district since the previous assessment taken up by FSI in the year 2019. In fact, the forest cover recorded in Ghaziabad in 2019 witnessed a decline of -0.78% compared to 2017.
According to the FSI report, the forest cover includes all lands measuring over one hectare in area with tree canopy density of more than 10%. The forest cover recorded in the report does not make any distinction between the origins of tree crops (whether manmade or natural) or tree species, and encompasses all kinds of lands, irrespective of their ownership, land use or legal status.
“The issue of declining forest cover is due to major infrastructure projects which have been taken up. Further, compensatory afforestation which should be taken up in the district has been done elsewhere. So, there is a decline in green cover here,” said Akash Vashishtha, a Ghaziabad-based environmentalist and a lawyer.
“The step taken up by the corporation is appreciable but there is always a problem with land availability in Ghaziabad city. The civic body already has two major city forests of over 100 acres each at Karhera and Sai Upwan. These should be completely developed as dense forests instead of turning them into recreational sites. Such a move is vital because Ghaziabad is polluted,” Vashishtha added.
Officials of the divisional forest department said that the city this year has been given a target of planting 10.5 lakh trees during the monsoon season.
“We will start with the plantation drive as soon as the monsoon hits the region. Our plantation drives have a survival rate of about 90% and if the corporation has achieved a rate of 95%, it is appreciable and can be termed as high survival rate,” said PK Srivastava, officiating divisional forest officer.
Mumbai Over 200 housing societies of Thakur Village in Kandivali (East) have come together and collected ₹20 lakh for the occasion of Independence Day. What is even more interesting is that they have refrained from calling politicians or celebrities to hoist the national flag on Monday. Rather, they have decided that the flag will be unfurled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation sweepers and conservancy workers from Thakur village.
The World Tribal Day is observed on August 9. However, for the tribals of Shahapur, the day was nothing more than a sham. The school children of three tribal hamlets of Shahapur in Thane district cannot attend school during monsoon as the only way to reach it is by crossing a river. Over 25 children from Bhitarwadi and Kothewadi hamlets of Shahapur lose connectivity to the other villages and the main road during the monsoon.
Over six lakh traffic violators who failed to pay the fine for flouting traffic rules have been served notice by the Thane Traffic Police. The police have asked these rule violators to pay the fine before August 15 or they would be called to the Lok Adalat to be held on August 16. The six lakh violators are from Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi and Mumbra.
The residents travelling to Pune or Goa will have to take an alternate route that passes via Uran Phata instead of the usual Mumbai–Pune Expressway, as per the directives of the Navi Mumbai Traffic Police. Motorists travelling to Pune as well as Goa are therefore asked to plan their travel by going through the alternate route via Uran Phata – Killa Junction – Gavan Phata – Palspe.
Cycling for passion or for keeping oneself fit is very common. But there is an extreme form of this sport, which is cycling for days together through rough terrains, unforeseen climatic conditions and weather. Kharghar-based an advocate by profession, Kabir Rachure, has finished third in the Race Across America – world's toughest cycling competition that tests the riders' endurance level by cycling for 5,000 km in a span of 12 days.