In a major boost to the depleting green cover of Gurgaon, the city could soon get its own forest area with the Forest department proposing to develop around 125 acres of corporation land near the Aravalli Biodiversity Park into a ‘City Forest’.
The move comes after the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) wrote to the Haryana government to identify land that can be developed into a ‘forest’. On Friday, Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) officials and those from the state government’s Forest department met MoEF officials to elaborate on the project.
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According to an earlier plan, the 350-acre biodiversity park was to be converted into an urban forest and park, a forest official said. The original plan was mentioned in the letter written by Amit Jha, principal secretary to the state Forests and Wildlife department, to P Raghavender Rao, additional chief secretary of the Town and Country Planning Department. “The two departments then decided on developing only 125 acres of corporation land, and another 50 acres of land,” Rao said.
Sources said the decision to not convert the entire park into an urban forest was taken as it is already being maintained by an NGO, ‘I Am Gurgaon’.
Sources also said that as a part of the directives, state governments have to create at least one city forest that will contribute to the overall health of the city and land had to be identified for the same.
A forest official said, according to the plan, locally appropriate species of plants would be planted om at least 65 per cent of the area.
“Different kinds of plants, including medicinal plants and ornamental shrubs, will grace the city forest. The project will also have water-harvesting units, walking tracks, running and cycling tracks,” the official said.