Water scarcity, broken boundary walls hamper growth of saplings
Each year the civic agencies plant a large number of trees and sapling but a significant number of these do not survive. Green activists say unscientific methods, lack of planning, absence of fences and water scarcity are the main reasons behind the low survival. Activist Padmavati Dwivedi pointed out that there had been cases in the past where saplings were planted with the poly bags still attached to the roots. “What do you think will be the chances of survival of a plant in such cases,” she said.
One such instance where the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) workers had planted saplings along with poly bags was reported in Kalkaji a few months ago. Rohit Kohli, a Kalkaji resident said, “Since, the plantation drive was not done scientifically and the tube well in the park was malfunctioning, about 90% of the saplings were destroyed.”
Scarcity of water is another reason that has affected plantation drives in the past. Jahanpanah City Forest is spread across 435 acres and has a dozen tube wells in it. But only three of them work, said Navin Chopra, member of a group known as Friends of Jahanpanah City Forest which was formed to look into the problems at the forest.
Another city forest, Sanjay Van near Vasant Kunj, has also been facing the brunt of DDA’s apathy. The broken boundary wall here gives easy access to pigs and other animals who damage the saplings. Lack of security guards is also a problem. “There are just three security guards to man the forest which is spread across 800 acres. Security needs to be increased here to prevent intrusion,” said Vinod Rawat, founder of Working With Nature, a voluntary group assisting DDA in maintaining Sanjay Van. He said almost 10% of saplings get damaged due to the pigs and cattle roaming in the forest. For the past two years, Rawat has been requesting authorities to amp up security but he said the proposal is pending due to red-tapism.
Activists say that civic agencies must consider rainwater harvesting system to recharge the water level. Dwivedi said that strengthening the rainwater harvesting system and enhancing the ground water table is the best way to increase the survival ratio of plants. However, she added that as these steps will take time, the civic agencies should for now concentrate on planting native species as they are less dependent on water and its survival rate is higher. “The city’s officials and people are obsessed with numbers. Rather than focusing on the number of plants, one should focus on planting native trees. They have slow growth initially but given the right conditions, the chances of their survival are much higher,” Dwivedi said.
Environmentalist Vijay Dhasmana said plants like Dhak, Indian Salai and Phulai are good for garden areas and parks while the forest areas should get more trees like Kaedam, Palash, Khejri, Babul and Rohida.
A 56-year-old jeweller in north Mumbai was arrested on Monday on charges that56-year-old jeweler, Vishnu Vidhu Bhowmik, who has a jewelry shop in south Mumbaie made nine threat calls to the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in south Mumbai and threatened to harm Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani and members of his family. The phone calls were made between 10:39am and 12.04pm on Monday. Police earlier said it appeared that the nine calls were made by the same person.
Six police personnel, including a sub-inspector (SI), were suspended for allegedly providing 'special treatment' to convicted gangster-turned-politician Anand Mohan Singh when he appeared at a Patna court on August 12. Saharsa superintendent of police Lipi Singh took the action on Monday, including four DAP jawans and an SAP driver, and ordered departmental proceedings against them. Anand Mohan was accused of inciting a mob to lynch the young Dalit IAS officer on December 5, 1994.
Come October, commuters headed to Pune from Thane and Borivali will have a low-cost, yet comfortable transport facility. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation is planning to replace the iconic Shivneri buses on this route with electric Shivai buses. However, the Shivneri buses will continue to ply between Dadar and Pune. Currently, Shivneri buses charge ₹450 per passenger.
Mumbai: Blame it on the long weekend and travel plans or students refusing to alter their college preference, just 20% first-year junior college (FYJC) aspirants from the second merit list have confirmed admissions until Monday. College principals have attributed this low admission acceptance to students travelling during the long weekend. The second merit list was released by the office of the deputy director of education (DyDE) on August 12, where 69,691 students were allotted seats.
Mumbai: A 33-year-old man allegedly killed hMukhtar'swife by strangulating her over a trivial issue in wee hours on Sunday and fled from the house. JJ Marg police have launched a manhunt for him. According to the police, the deceased was identified as Manzila Shaikh, 30, who was staying in Imamwada area along JJ Marg along with her husband, Sukhchand Shaikh alias Mukhtar, 33.