MumbaiMoving ahead with its plan to create urban forests in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has earmarked five more plots in the suburbs that will be developed into urban forests. These forests — a collection of dense plantation — will help percolate rainwater into the ground instead of into artificial stormwater drains that release the water into the sea.Among the areas suggested as potential urban forests are Pratap Singh Manoranjan Maidan at Mulund (West) (30% of its 13,358sqm); a plot in Chandivli, Kurla (19,977sqm); Bhakti Park at Wadala (20% of its 55,000sqm); Appa Pada in Malad (60% of 25,000 sqm) and Pramod Navalkar Udyan at Kandivli (50% of 6,000sqm). These plots will have dense forestation, a natural earth pathway and also seating arrangements for visitors.In June, municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi had said the BMC would identify 20 plots to develop into urban forests. The first five plots that were announced to create urban forests included Anandibhai Surve Udyan in Kurla (27,000 square metres or sqm) and Annabhau Sathe ground (38,000sqm) as well as Step Garden (19,000sqm) in Kandivli. The civic body has now set a target of creating 100 urban forests in the city and is looking at open spaces, parks and gardens to check possibilities of creating open spaces. A senior civic official said, “The entire open space or park will not be created into urban forests, but a suitable part of it. Local ward officials are surveying their areas and finding more plots where the work can be carried out.”Urban forests are expected to help absorb rainwater into the ground and could also act as holding ponds during heavy rain. Rainwater collected in artificial stormwater drains is wasted because it is release into the sea.