Government of India has launched the “Nagar Van Yojana” with an objective of increasing the forest cover in urban areas. The “Nagar Van (Urban Forests)” programme has been launched with 200 corporations and cities across India. During the launch of the programme, the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar urged people to actively participate and increase the tree cover in their areas.
The complete details of the Nagar Van Yojana (City Forest Scheme) would be announced by the central govt. on 5th June 2020. Mr. Javadekar will showcase the example of Warje in Pune, where forest land falling within the city after urbanization was developed into a Nagar Van with public participation.
Now with the increasing pollution level particularly in cities, the central govt. wants to create forests in urban areas to protect environment damage.
Nagar Van Yojana 2020
A Nagar Van is a forested area lying in vicinity of cities which is accessible to the city dwellers and is suitably managed. These city forests provides wholesome natural environment for recreation, education, biodiversity, water and soil conservation and reduces pollution, heat. Govt. wants to create/ develop at least one CITY FOREST in each city having Municipal Corporation/ Class I Cities. This will provide wholesome healthy living environment and will also contribute to growth of Smart, Clean, Green, Sustainable and Healthy Cities.
Objectives of Nagar Vana Yojana
The major objectives to launch this Nagar Vana Yojana in all states are as follows:-
- To create City Forests across various parts of the country. One City Forest shall be developed in each city with municipal council.
- In order to create awareness on plants and biodiversity.
- Education on conservation of flora and fauna of the region which also includes perception of threats.
- Ecological rejuvenation of the cities. Forests are the green lungs which protects environment of cities by pollution mitigation, cleaner air, noise reduction, water harvesting and reduction of heat islands effect.
- In-situ Biodiversity conservation.
- Health benefits to all urban citizens.
- Making cities climate resilient.
Components of Urban Forests
Here are the important components of city forests in Nagar Van Yojana:-
- Proper Fencing.
- Wooded blocks with emphasis on locally appropriate species.
- Plants to include shrubs, climbers, medicinal plants, seasonal flowering plants etc. to represent floral biodiversity.
- Irrigation/ rain water harvesting facility.
- Open Air Conservation education displays, signages, brochures etc.
- Public convenience, drinking water facilities, benches etc.
- Walkways/ footpath, Jogging and cycle track.
Benefits of Urban Forests
This Nagar Van Scheme was previously implemented on a pilot basis in the name of Nagar Vana Udyan Yojana. Forest Ministry has protected 25ha forest inside city from encroachments and improved vegetation by planting 6,500 indigenous trees and created walking tracks. Moreover, people planted trees in memory of their beloved and today the same people are protecting the forest. Daily 1,000 people visit this urban forest.
Urban Forestry in Maharashtra
Urban forestry concept is not new to Maharashtra. During 1990-91, massive greening drive was taken up in Amravati, Nagpur, Pune, Aurangabad and Nashik. Under this, huge plantations were taken up at Ambazari and Gorewada. Nagpur is bestowed with urban forests like Ambazari (756ha), Seminary Hills (76ha) and Gorewada (1914ha). All these forest areas are the lungs of the city and have different floral and faunal biodiversity.
In 2016, Maharashtra government had launched a parallel scheme by opening urban gardens on forest areas under “Uttamrao Patil Van Udyan” scheme. The basic idea was to create awareness about nature education. Urban forestry is an integrated concept of forest resource management to provide improved environment, pleasing and relaxing surroundings in an urban system. The launch of Nagar Van Scheme will provide opportunity to the states to manage urban ecosystems.
Forest Ministry will support one time development and non-recurring expenditure to the concerned agency of the concerned cities for creation of a City Forest. City authorities would be encouraged to have a City Forest within their jurisdiction for deriving maximum ecological and environmental benefits.
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