Initiative to naturally regenerate Aravallis kicks off

With a view to regenerate the Aravallis hills, which is under threat from rapid urbanisation, the forest department has identified four acres each in the six districts of southern Haryana.
Forest department officials said the aim of the initiative is to bring back the lost green cover of the Aravallis by restricting human intervention.(HT Photo)
Forest department officials said the aim of the initiative is to bring back the lost green cover of the Aravallis by restricting human intervention.(HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 25, 2016 10:29 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Gurgoan

With a view to regenerate the Aravallis hills, which is under threat from rapid urbanisation, the forest department has identified four acres each in the six districts of southern Haryana.

Forest officials said work has started in these selected areas and these spots are being monitored by the department to rejuvenate the forest by letting it grow naturally. The aim is to bring back the lost green cover of the Aravallis, by restricting human intervention.

This initiative will restore ecology in the state, forest officials said. In Gurgoan, Mandavar and Ghata have been selected for natural regeneration.

The plan is to restrict all intervention -- both human and animal -- in the selected area before the monsoon arrives and let the forest grow on its own.

In earlier initiatives to revive the Aravallis, a large number of saplings were planted in various parts of the region. But the survival rate of saplings was not high. So, with a view to manage the forest cover better, the officials came up with an idea -- restrict movement of man and animal in certain areas and allow natural growth of forest with minimum intervention of forest officials.

“The area has shallow soil which makes it difficult to retain water and this results in desertification. Only option we have to restore forest is to enforce the natural regeneration process. We have already created stone walls around the areas and dug water pits,” said conservator of forest (south circle) MD Sinha.

This monsoon, the forest department will conduct a 50% plantation drive and a 50% ecological regeneration to increase the green cover. Also, efforts will be made to increase the count of indigenous and endemic plants.

“Our aim is to give Nature a helping hand to bring back the dense Aravalli forest. The area that we have started work used to have thick roots and we are sure that within a year, the area will regains its lost glory,” Sinha said. A similar model has been successfully tried in certain parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ipsita Pati is a senior correspondent with the Hindustan Times, covering Gurgaon. She has written on pollution, wildlife, forest cover, Maoists problems and illegal mining while working in different states of India including Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi and Haryana.

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