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Nature lovers face uphill task to make Kharghar hill greener

By Padmja Sinha, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON DEC 26, 2019 01:00 AM IST

With frequent fires at Kharghar Hills and no adequate measures being taken by the officials to control it, nature lovers from across Kharghar have decided to nurture plants and water saplings at the hillock.

More than 50 volunteers including children and senior citizens are all set to walk up to the hills with bottles to water the plants.

More than three major fires in the last one month have destroyed many full-grown trees. To save the trees which survived, nature lovers have taken this initiative.

The volunteers have decided to go to the hillock rather than going for a morning walk.

Resident groups and environmentalists across Kharghar keep a close eye and alert officials in case of a blaze.

After monsoon, forest fire is rampant in the hills between November and March. The overgrown bushes get dry and are prone to catch fire easily.

During the monsoon this year the residents bombed near about 5,000 seedballs. Many saplings grew but most were destroyed in the fire.

Dharmendra Kar, an environmentalist said,“While we bombed 5,000 seedballs we also planted many saplings over a period of time. Many grew into big trees but were destroyed in the fire. To save the remaining trees, we have proposed to walk to the hillock with water till monsoon arrives. Many children have also decided to join this initiative.”

“Our repeated request to officials to increase patrolling in the forest area fell on deaf ears. Every day for two hours, the volunteers would tend to the plants and monitor hills and even generate awareness among villagers,” said Suprita Roy, 38, a Kharghar resident.

This is not the first time that the residents have come together to save nature. A group of volunteers is already cleaning the lake at Sector 35, for two hours every morning.

“Our initiative to clean the lake yielded positive results. Many people willingly volunteered and today the lake is all clean. We are sure that we will be able to turn the hill into a forest area and also change the mentality of the people,” said Umesh Solanki, a sector 15 resident.

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