Saturday, January 22, 2022

Chandigarh

Chandigarh Forest Department greening plans pay dividends

YS RANA | January 15, 2022 07:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: Having donned the cap of the greenest city, Chandigarh is well on the road to emerging as a model not only in the country but in Asia, for increasing green cover and tree cover area through soil and moisture conservation measures and bio-diversity restoration. The penetrating vegetative and engineering methods, adopted by the Chandigarh Forest Department have paid rich and diversified dividends.

The Frest Survey of India Report (FSI) has released its report. According to it, Chandigarh has recorded an increase of 4.58 square kilometers in its overall green cover. In 2019, the increase in overall green cover was 47.03 sq. kms which has increased to 51.88 sq. kms in 2022. The city has registered double increase in its green cover in 10 years. In 2011, city, s overall green cover was 26.78 sq. kms; increased to 31.56 sq. kms in 2017.

City also tops the list of increasing tree cover area in the country. As per the report, city has registered an increase of 3 sq. kms in tree cover compared to last year. While there was no increase in the very dense forest cover but city has recorded decrease of 0.73 sq. kms in moderate forest area cover. City’s has recorded an increase of 1.58 sq. kms in open forest cover.

Stating this here the official of the Forest Department said that measures had succeeded in meeting the challenge posed by the sampaging silt to Sukhna Lake, helped conserve soil and moisture in the 26 sq. kms hilly catchment area and thrown up a good forest. In association with PEC, the forest department had taken drive in 33 acre of land near Naya Gaon which was full of waste. The forest department had planted around 10, 000 plants. He further stated that on an average 1.50 lakh plants were being planted every year and recorded 80 per cent survival rate.

In 2019-20 under greening plan, agencies have achieved their plantation target of 2.50 lakh saplings; 1.50 lakh of stem culling and three lakh patch sowings. Under Chandigarh Administration green Chandigarh Action Plan 2021-22 has planted 1.75 saplings.

To put a stop to the silt menace and save the lake, the forest department has constructed 190 silt retention dams, supplemented by more than 200 check-dams to sonserve soil. The department has decided to construct water holes in every forest area to improve the underground water level. Soil conservation measures supplemented by massive afforestation has made city proud. On steep gradients, seeds have been sown in patches to ensure green cover on hill slopes. “Plantation has been carried out by trench-cum-ridge coverage method, ” said the official.

This sounds far more impressive when compared with the national figure. Out of its 114-square kilometers, the forest cover of Chadigarh has now increased to 51.88 sq. kms and another 28 sq. kms are is under tree cover. City has not only incremental growth in the area but also in their quality which is measured by density. It indicates that the forestr growth in the priority list of the Chandigarh Administration and continues to pay dividend.

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