February 2, 2021 1:28:46 pm
The Greater Chennai Corporation is mulling to set up 1000 more urban forests by utilising open spaces and reserve lands in a bid to increase the green cover of the city.
Addressing reporters at the anniversary celebration of Miyawaki forest in Kottupuram on Monday, Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash requested resident associations, private firms, and NGOs to create more urban forests. He said private firms can even place advertisements and signboards in the forests they maintain.
As a first step toward developing interest, the corporation has decided to permit the residents to visit forests present in various parts of the city.
The first Miyawaki forest was planted at Canal Bank Road in Zone 13 (Adyar) covering an area of 2211.87 sq.m. This space behind the Kotturpuram MRTS Station was once a garbage dump filled with solid waste, construction debris, etc.
More than 2,000 saplings were planted and the area was completely set up at a cost of around Rs 15 Lakhs. The site is now home to numerous butterflies, birds, reptiles, insects, and other species.
Taking a cue from the success of the Miyawaki forest in Kottupuram, the GCC has already planted 60,000 saplings in 30 urban forests in the city.
“Residents can maintain the urban forest by themselves. Once the corporate companies and residents’ welfare associations give an expression of interest, they will be given the approval by the Corporation within two days and they can start maintaining the urban forest,” Prakash said.
He added that many open reserved spaces/vacant areas belonging to the Chennai Corporation have been converted into garbage dumps or used as a space for anti-social activities. An increase in the green cover will act as a catalyst to prevent such encroachment and improve the biodiversity as well, he said.
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