Even as many trees are being axed in Navi Mumbai to make way for various infrastructure projects, the local body, NMMC, is in the process of creating a man-made forest with 1 lakh trees in Nerul. It is being developed on a barren patch along the ‘Jewel of Navi Mumbai’ lakeside, using the Miyawaki method of plantation. NMMC claims it is India’s largest urban forest. The Japanese Miyawaki method of plantation is used to grow trees in a short duration. The Miyawaki forest model needs less water as compared to other methods. In this model, more trees can be accommodated in smaller areas as it designed for urban pockets where availability of land is a hurdle.
The plantation is likely to be completed in a month. Of the 1 lakh indigenous trees set to be planted, about 68,000 trees have been planted. The area is covered with 60 native species in four layers. NMMC has roped in an NGO, Green Yatra, to develop this forest. The forest is being created using corporate social responsibility funds, and the private player will take care of the plants for the next three years. NMMC commissioner Abhijit Bangar said he asked the garden department to complete the remaining plantation ahead of monsoon. “Pathway work is underway to allow citizens to explore the charm of urban forest. It will be a recreational hub across age groups and work on the meditation arena is going on in full swing,” he said, adding that the plan is to develop a few smaller urban forests across Navi Mumbai city in coming days.
Environ mentalist B N Kumar said they have suggested to NMMC to opt for local varieties of trees rather than decorative ones which hardly withstand strong winds. “NMMC must also take up rejuvenation and vertical plantation at the quarried Parik Hill sites,” he said.
The first Miyawaki urban forest in the city was developed at Koparkhairane with nearly 40,000 trees that have shot up to 15 feet over the past year.