The people of Chandigarh will have another place — Nagar Van — to soak in the rich flora and fauna, to work out and go for walk. Samriti Upavan, situated between Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake near the tennis court, will be thrown open to the public with a new name, Nagar Van, on March 27. It has an open gymnasium, long walking trail, sitting arrangements and other modern facilities. Coming under the Reserve Forest Area of Chandigarh, Nagar Van has been built under the Nagar Van Udayan Scheme.
Santosh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, UT Chandigarh, said, “We decided to develop the Samriti Upavan as Nagar Van three years back. Though Samriti Upavan is part of the Vanaspatic Upavana (Botanical Garden) which was inaugurated in 1988, maintenance came down to a minimum over time. We conducted a survey and found it to be the best possible place to be developed as Nagar Van for the people of Chandigarh. Union Territory Administrator V P Singh Badnore will inaugurate it on March 27. Nearly Rs 2 crore has been spent on developing it. We have also deployed guards and watchmen there.”
Nagar Van is spread over a sprawling 100 hectares and being part of the Reserve Forest Area of Chandigarh near Sukhna Lake, a number of species, including Sambar, nilgai (blue bull), jungle fowls, jungle cats, porcupines are found in the place. A forest officer, engaged in the construction of Nagar Van, said, “Sambar and nilgai, which are in large numbers in the Reserve Forest Area, wander about from one place to another. As Nagar Van and the Reserve Forest Area are interlinked, visitors will have enough opportunity to spot different species. The main entrance of the Reserve Forest Area, which remains open from 6.30 am to 6 pm, is just 50 metres away from Nagar Van.”
Thousands of people visit Sukhna Lake everyday, both in the morning and evening. Also, it is the best possible place for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers.