Development of green belts, gardens, plantation campaigns during monsoon are few steps that Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) has taken to make it a Green City. In association with Navchetna Trust, during an exclusive campaign on 25 July 2015, the Corporation planted more than two lakh saplings along roadside, green belt, bye pass road, parks, etc in a short span of three hours. The objective was to improve green cover; ensure sustainable livelihoods; creating awareness about plants with ecological and biodiversity rejuvenation; making cities’ climate resilient; arrest and reverse the trend of forest degradation; and, to involve the village community to make it participative.
Managers’ teams were formed to select volunteers for rendering their services to this noble cause. The volunteers—20,000 of them—that came forward were imparted due training through demos for plantation. It was followed by the preparation of plan for different areas with a time-bound implementation strategy with selection of sites.
The sites so identified were full of garbage and unwanted material. The corporation deployed its workforce to get it cleaned and ready for plantation. All the temporary and semi-permanent encroachments were removed by persuading such encroachers so as to make the sites of plantation free from any obstacles and to bring the trees in symmetry for all the roads.
In order to bring all the local Departments under one umbrella, a series of alignment meetings were conducted with local departments. The manpower and the machines of all the local departments and also of the NGOs were put into action for the purpose of digging of pits at the required sites. The process of procurement of saplings and protection of the same was also a challenge in itself, which was duly addressed.
A survey was done to identify the places and deciding how much tree density is required in different areas in Faridabad before the plantation took place. The trees planted in the drive included Neem, Gulmohar, Amaltas, Alstonia, Palm, Arjun, Ficus, Jacaranda, Fruit Trees – Guava, Jamun, etc. Future works like widening of roads, laying of water and sewer lines, underground service cables were taken into consideration so that the plantation does not get affected. Saplings were procured free of cost from various Government Nurseries, MCF Nurseries, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Forest Department, Department of Horticulture and Private Nurseries.
The drive was promoted on Facebook to make people adopt a “Tree”. As a result, about 300,000 people were linked to the Facebook page and more than 10,000 people adopted trees and uploaded their selfies on Facebook with “#Adopt A Tree”. It was a unique and exceptional venture, which was also recognised by the Limca Book of Records.
The key lesson learnt is that the resources and sites must be clearly identified beforehand. The direct involvement of different stakeholders in a participatory manner from various levels of society and government is vital for learning and building consensus and resolving conflicts. The final goal of plantation is to achieve pollution-free atmosphere with the help of community.
MCF is now developing a city forest involving 200 acres besides developing Oxy Park by planting bamboo covering 1,000 acres.
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