Area along Najafgarh drain on Delhi-Haryana border to get greener

The forest department has planned to plant native peepal, amaltas, and Jamun on the 17-km-long stretch in the first week of August.

Published: 01st August 2022 07:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2022 07:22 AM   |  A+A-

Najafgarh drain, on the Delhi-Haryana border.

Najafgarh drain, on the Delhi-Haryana border.

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Najafgarh drain, on the Delhi-Haryana border, is set to get a new lease of life this monsoon, as steps to restore its ecology is in place. The forest department has planned to plant native peepal, amaltas, and Jamun on the 17-km-long stretch in the first week of August. Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai K Saxena recently asked the department to restore the greenery and turn it into an eco-tourism site.

The Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) department, under the jurisdiction of which the drain falls, will too be a part of the imitative. “The stretch at present is full of vilayati kikar (Prosopis juliflora), which is an invasive species and doesn’t have any ecological benefits and stops the growth of other species. We will start planting a variety of native species such as peepal, Jamun and amaltas from Dhansa (at the Haryana border) to Chhawla. Initially, we will monitor how the saplings are growing after which the project will be taken forward,” said a senior forest official.

The Najafgarh drain, one of the biggest drains in the city, falls partly in Delhi with its larger portion lying in Haryana. The area attracts a large number of migratory birds every winter, however, most of its tree canopy has vilayati kikar. This is not the first time when the government is trying to rid it of invasive species. 

Similar efforts of removing the species from the central ridge (a protected forest) are underway and the department has been planting native saplings in a particular stretch as a pilot project. “Having a dense canopy, the invasive species stop sunlight from reaching the ground due to which the new saplings are not able to flourish. We have started to regularly prune the branches of vilayati kikar to allow the growth of the native saplings,” another official said.

The L-G had on June 9 inspected the drain along its entire length of 57km and stretches from Dhansa near the Haryana border to the Yamuna near Wazirabad. He discussed the rejuvenation of the area with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and its development as an eco-tourism spot including features such as a navigable waterway, where activities like boat rides, and water sports and commuting could take place.

Kikar forms most of tree's canopy
The Najafgarh drain falls partly in the national capital with its larger portion lying in Haryana. The area attracts a large number of migratory birds every winter, however, most of its tree canopy has vilayati kikar.



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