To expand green cover, authority to start developing ‘tiny forests’ in Ghaziabad
Aiming to increase green cover, the Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) has come up with the concept of developing ‘tiny forests’ in the city. These ‘tiny forests’ are conceived as small patches of land where a variety of trees like banyan, jamun, sheesham, neem among others will be planted.
Officials said the project is separate from the annual plantation target given by the state government.
“Green areas have diminished and it is time that we concentrate on dense forestry. The natural dense green cover planned under the concept will also beautify the surroundings as well as check pollution levels,” Kanchan Verma, authority’s vice chairperson, said.
Under the concept, the authority has asked officials to identify vacant patches of land where a three-layered green cover can be developed.
The officials said they need a minimum of 1,000 square metres of area for developing such forests and plantation will be done on authority’s vacant plots where any construction is not possible.
“Initially, we will have a grass cover and later it will be covered with shrubs. In the third layer, we will be plant trees which have a dense growth, a long survival life and a wide canopy cover. Once such a forest grows, we will leave it with fencing around it and trees will be allowed to grow naturally,” she said.
“We have several patches of land available in Indirapuram, Madhuban Bapudham, Pratap Vihar and we can even procure land from the municipal corporation for the purpose. We have asked officials to find out more area where development of parks among others cannot be taken up,” Verma added.
The official said the project will be initiated this monsoon and some patches of land have been identified already.
“We have identified five places near Vasundhara below the Hindon elevated road, two places near Up-gate adjacent to Indirapuram and a patch of land behind the Shipra Mall. The work will be taken up at the earliest,” SP Sisodia, deputy director, horticulture department, GDA, said.
According to the 2017 state of forests report, the forest cover in Ghaziabad district stood at 2.21% of its geographical area. The 2015 forest survey report had put Ghaziabad’s forest cover at 1.89% of its total geographical area.
The ‘forest cover’ includes all lands, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 10 percent. Such lands may not be statutorily notified as forest area.
“The growing infrastructure and highways have taken a toll on a number of trees which were felled. Areas like the city forest of Sai Upvan have remained devoid of tree cover. The other city forest area at Karhera has virtually been turned into a park. It is time that dense forestry should be taken up and plantation of shrubs should give way to a plantation of bigger variety of trees,” Akash Vashishtha, a city-based environmentalist, said.