The MPL Park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3 is up for greener days with DCB Bank creating an urban forest here, in association with NGO Green Yatra. Under the jurisdiction of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), this 2,200 sqm park was just crying for attention, when the bank decided to develop it under its CSR initiative.
Since June, over 7,000 saplings of over 25 varieties of indigenous varieties have been planted. These species can withstand the singeing summers, short bursts of monsoon and the biting Delhi winters.
The urban forest is being developed using the Miyawaki technique, pioneered by Japanese botanist Dr Akira Miyawaki, in which area-specific native species are planted close to each other so that they grow faster. Prior to the plantation, a detailed soil analysis is done to find out the biological activity and nutritional value of the soil according to which husk, hay, cocopeat, manure, etc., are added.
“The Miyawaki technique is a sustainable method for developing urban forests, even when the space is small and funds are less,” notes Pradeep Tripathi, Founder, Green Yatra. He goes on to explain the concept of ‘urban forests’ and the process of creating biomimicry of forests in the cities. “We replicate a tropical rainforest on the available land for the trees to grow in four layers — shrubs, sub-trees, trees and canopies. As against the conventional forestry where around 1,000 trees are planted in one acre, we plant 12,000 saplings per acre.
This prevents the sunlight from reaching the ground, which keeps the soil moist and discourages weeds. You just need two years of care, after which it becomes a self-sustaining and self-generating eco-system. In 10 years, it will be akin to a 100-year-old natural forest,” says Tripathi.
Environment conservationist, Vikrat Tongad, Founder-member, Social Action for Forest & Environment, informs about developing another such urban forest (funded by HCL) near the Noida International University on the Yamuna Expressway. “This kind of forest helps in restoration, protection and conservation of local flora and fauna, improves air quality and helps recharge ground water. A big plus of this sort of plantation is that only native fruit-bearing and shady trees are planted, which helps all living beings. Unlike the ornamental trees planted by most government authorities that are of no use, other than imparting a green look,” he adds.
“A bio-diverse habitat helps the ecology. It works like an efficient carbon sink,” says Greenman Vijaypal Baghel, President, Paryavaran Sachetak Samiti. “I feel each colony should have such a green lung in its area,” he adds. The positives of the upcoming forest at Mayur Vihar are that its layout stays the same and will remain accessible to the public, who can continue taking their morning and evening walks here. And residents here, like Neelam Sehgal, are happy to have a dense forest so close to their home. “Except for some trees along the boundary wall, this park had little green cover. I am told that the forest will be ready in two years. I am already looking forward to spending my evenings here,” says Sehgal.
In a nutshell
DCB Bank is creating an urban forest at MPL Park in Mayur Vihar Phase 3, in association with NGO Green Yatra. Under the jurisdiction of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, this 2200 sqm park was just crying for attention, before the bank decided to develop it under its CSR initiative.
What are Miyawaki Forests?
Miyawaki Forests are wholly organic. The saplings planted using the Miyawaki technique grow 10 times faster and are 100 times more bio-diverse. These provide 30 times more green surface area as well as have 30 times better capacity to absorb carbon dioxide as compared to monoculture plantations.
Urban Forest in Mayur Vihar Phase 3
- Shrubs: Chandini, Gurhal, Kadhi Patta, Neembu, Tagar
- Sub trees: Amla, Amrood, Anaar, Sita Ashok, Shahtoot
- Trees : Kathal, Jamun, Neem, Karanj, Peepul, Philkan
- Canopies: Kadamb, Aam, Sangwan