BMC's Miyawaki Forests project are showing positive results

ST Staff
Wednesday, 8 July 2020

According to sources, the Miyawaki Urban Forest is flourishing, in the last six months, the saplings that were earlier planted have grown into mid-size trees.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had initiated a project in 2019 to create it's own Miyawaki Urban Forest. However, BMC's project drew the attention of opposition parties and activists who stood against it.

According to sources, the Miyawaki Urban Forest is flourishing, in the last six months, the saplings that were earlier planted have grown into mid-size trees. environmental activists from the city raised a voice against the activity, the corporation spent about Rs 35 crores on buying and planting saplings in open spaces.

Praveen Pradeshi, the former BMC commissioner in 2019, had appointed contractors to plant saplings in 61 open spaces. However, the activists and opposition party said the idea of creating Miyawaki Urban Forest(s) would only reduce the open spaces in the city. 

Mumbai is already a cramped up city, with hardly any open spaces, if the available ones are also filled it'll further get congesting. BMC faced criticism for taking up an expensive project which was not required at the time.

The Miyawaki project near Priyadarshini Park has now flourished into growing greens after sox months. In Mumbai Mirror's report, Praveen Pardeshi said, the urban forests add more "green emeralds" to Mumbai city. He further added, "I had undertaken such projects in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad as well. Now it's mandatory for all private developers with plots over 4,000 sq ft."

Miyawaki is a Japanese technique of creating a dense plantation forest in urban regions. It was discovered by a Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki, this process of planting saplings results in 10 times faster plant growth. Several Bangalore corporate firms have been utilising this method extensively.

Bittu Sahgal from Sanctuary Nature Foundation told Mumbai Mirror, "Our lives can be filled with bird song instead of traffic pollution and car horns. This is critical to the future of our children and will help Mumbai stay ready in the age of climate change."

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