Biodiversity has taken a backseat in Hyderabad: Experts

Although GHMC is developing parks at open spaces in the city, there is a lack of any parameter to know how these parks contribute to the biodiversity.

Published: 03rd April 2018 05:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2018 05:12 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Although GHMC is developing parks at open spaces in the city, there is a lack of any parameter to know how these parks contribute to the biodiversity. In 2012 the City Biodiversity Index was announced during Conference of Parties-11 Convention on Biodiversity in Hyderabad when the city scored 36 out of 92 points.

However, it has been six years but the scores have not been revived although Convention on Biodiversity for City Biodiversity Index says it should be done every two years. Moreover, there are no guidelines on what kind of species are to be planted in the parks so that they prove of use to the local fauna and to avoid planting of alien invasive species.

Dr C Srinivasulu, faculty at the department of zoology in Osmania University said, “Scientific management of parks is essential to maintain biodiversity of flora and fauna. Open spaces can be of two types, landscaped parks which are focused more on visual appeal for humans and wilderness parks whose main priority is biodiversity conservation. Although Hyderabad has biodiversity parks they are being managed for visual appeal of humans with no proper scientific approach or involvement of experts. Landscaped parks can also be a combination of visually appealing spaces and conservation spaces like Central Park in New York but it will need a focused policy from government.”

Parks only in posh areas?

Former Osmania University professor and environmentalist Purushottam Reddy said, “Parks in Hyderabad are concentrated in a few parts of the city. Moreover, if one observes, there are not many parks in areas where there are slums or in the low socioeconomic parts of the city. Why should poor people be denied their right to stroll in the park or go with family to a park.”

His argument holds true as almost half of the city-level and major parks in the city are located in the Central Zone of GHMC, followed by in the East Zone. The park spread over 3 acres in Kishanbagh, which will be a major recreation space for Old City that lacks good gardens, is yet to be inaugurated even though works on the park started in 2014.

He added, “There is a need for planting local plant species that are useful for preserving biodiversity than depending on alien plant species for landscaping and beautification.Moreover, the way parks are developed also needs to be different and unique to Hyderabad keeping the weather, water, soil and climate conditions here.”

Focus on greenery
Vishwanath Agarwal, General Secretary, Public Garden Walkers Association, said, “There is a need for beautification of parks like Public Garden and Indira Park. The greenness of parks is not the same what it was years ago and there is a need for improvement. There is a serious lack of mud walking track in the public garden and we are forced to walk on concrete road which is proving harmful for the knees. Moreover, the pond in public gardens stink which the government needs to take care of.”

Money matters
Dr VBJ Rao Chelikani, president of United Federation of Resident Welfare Associations (UFERWAS),
Hyderabad, said, “The GHMC does give its share of 75 percent money for maintenance of colony-parks but the payment gets delayed most of the times by months and sometimes even a year. There is a need for decentralisation to limit involvement of GHMC in maintenance of parks and give the responsibility entirely to resident welfare associations as now for every development work we have to approach the GHMC first which takes time.”

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