The urban forest, which was earlier a marshland full of sewage, is located near the Sun-Dial Park n south Delhi. It is part of an initiative to clean the Barapullah drain.(Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)
The urban forest, which was earlier a marshland full of sewage, is located near the Sun-Dial Park n south Delhi. It is part of an initiative to clean the Barapullah drain.(Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)

Marshland of sewage near Barapullah drain turns into urban forest

The initiative is the second part of the Union government’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA)’s project to clean the Barapullah drain.
By Vatsala Shrangi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 06, 2019 04:07 PM IST

Just a few steps from the Barapullah drain in the capital, one can now venture into a lush green patch which earlier hosted a marsh full of sewage. This new urban forest is located near the Sun-Dial Park at Sarai Kale Khan in south Delhi.

The initiative is the second part of the Union government’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA)’s project to clean the Barapullah drain.

A total of 2,281 native saplings of 44 different species have been planted in this piece of land over the past six months. Some of the tree species planted include Peepal, Neem, Teak, Palash, Dhonk, Vajradanti, Gugal, Gular, Ber and Aamla, among others.

“The patch was a complete marshy floodplain full of sewage. In order to clean the drain, this patch needed afforestation to clean the air and the soil. We had to dewater the area and cover it with mud to level the field. Once the saplings grow into trees, it can again turn into a dense green patch as it used to be many years ago,” said a senior official from Department of Biotechnology.

The tiny forest is open to the public and the two departments plan to cover the entire patch spread across 750 square metres with saplings.

The 12.5km-long Barapullah drain carries a huge amount of domestic sewage, including human excreta, and is responsible for about 30% of the pollution in the river Yamuna.

“The marshland would earlier stink of sewage that included large amounts of plastic, cloth and rubber waste. It was unusable land, which needed to be reclaimed. The species and the spacing of the plants have been planned using a technology which allows the trees to grow rapidly and within a short span of two-three years recover an ecosystem of birds, insects and animals,” the official said.

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