With the intention of restoring the state’s ecological glory, the government of Chhattisgarh plans to introduce India’s largest man-made forest area by converting 2,500 acres of barren land into natural habitat at the Nandini mines located in the district of Durg.
The project was formulated in accordance with the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration which calls for protecting and reviving ecosystems around the world. It also aims to stop the degradation of ecosystems and restore them to achieve global goals.
The steel and cement industries dominate the region in the twin cities of Bhilai and Durg, which consists of a significantly less dense green area. Thus, to restore the green splendor, the concept will help reduce pollution and find a balance with the environment.
The project would be spread over five years. As part of the first phase, the first planting work would be carried out on an 885-acre stretch of Nandini mines. Nandini is 25 kilometers from the town of Durg. Mahua, peepal, banyan and trees with a longer lifespan will be preferred.
Revive the ecosystem
“It’s like a contribution to the“ United Nations Decade on the Ecosystem. ”With a scientific approach, we plan to revive the ecosystem and referring to the tropical dry deciduous forest subtype, it will be replicated with similar plant species, “Dhammshil Ganvir told Divisional Forestry Officer Durg Range when speaking to The Times Of India
“Following the forestry technique of Japanese botanist Miyawaki, Nandini will be converted into a multi-layered forest with grasses, shrubs, trees with medium and high canopy. About 3000 seed balls will also be used for the area where proper planting is not possible. he added.
The project would be comparable to Miyawaki’s forestry method, which involves planting two to four trees per square meter. In this method, the plants grow in two to three years and can survive.
They help lower temperatures in concrete heat islands, reduce air and noise pollution, attract local birds and insects, and create carbon sinks. The method recommends the planting of various native species, thus providing more biodiversity compared to monoclonal plantations. Thereafter, the revival of the three cycles of the water, energy and nutrient ecosystems would come into effect. This would purify the air and take care of the soil water collection facility.
Officials said the project will also include wildlife shortly. Since the place is a wetland, it could also become a suitable location for nesting birds like piping ducks and open-billed storks, among other breeds.
With an initial budget of around 3.37 crore, the place will be converted to an open jungle safari, like the one in Africa. It will be India’s largest man-made forest after Assam, which currently has 1,300 acres of the largest forest.
Chhattisgarh is not the only state to have taken ecological restoration measures in recent times. Last week, the Telangana government reclaimed at least 160 acres of overgrown and degraded forest patch in the central area of Kawal Tiger Reserve and converted it into lush green forest. The plot falls under the Khanapur Forestry Division near the village of Devunigudem in the Nirmal district. The transformation began in 2015 with the first edition of the Telangana Ku Haritha Haram State Tree Planting Program.
Core programs to restore forests
According to a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers last year, an area of more than $ 2 million was approved for reforestation at a cost of 3874 crore under the “National Reforestation Program (NAP ) ”To restore degraded forest areas. It also indicates that the country is committed to achieving land degradation neutrality status by 2030. It also raised its ambition to restore degraded land from 21 mha to 26 mha by 2030.
Various other programs like Green India Mission, funds accumulated under the Management and Planning Authority of the Compensatory Reforestation Fund (CAMPA), Nagar Van Yojana, etc. also help to control forest landscape degradation and restoration. The MoEF & CC also promotes trees outside forests, knowing that the country has considerable potential to increase its area of trees outside forest (TOF) mainly by developing agroforestry, the optimal use of wasteland and vacant land.
Also Read: Telangana Forestry Department Turns 160 Acre Barren Land Into Verdant Glory