GVMC to grow Miyawaki forests at 25 places in city

They will help reduce air pollution and recharge groundwater table

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is developing 25 Miyawaki forests at various areas in the city to improve greenery.

The horticulture department of the civic body has identified 25 places — 15 in Gajuwaka and 10 in Madhurawada — for the project. The department has already started working on the creation of such dense forests over small tracts of land at several areas.

“Neem, Ficus religiosa, Ficus benghalensis, Terminalia arjuna, Sandra, Juvvi, Kesia, Jackfruit, Bamboos, all about 40 to 60 species of native or indigenous varieties will be planted in a limited space. The plantations will be taken up in seven rows, in a row-to-row basis or multi-layered basis in seven layers,” said Additional Director of Horticulture (GVMC), M. Damodara Rao.

He said that with the arrangement of various types of shrubs, shrub trees, trees and in layers in a closed spacing, a dense forest-type atmosphere will be created. Work has already begun at nine places in Gajuwaka, he added.

According to the horticulture department, for quick and smooth penetration of water into the roots, soil refilling is done. “Then again, we will refill with biomass, combination of fertilisers – cocopeat, crop/paddy husk, vermicompost on the top layers. After completion of planting, dry hay will be spread over the surface of the ground to arrest evaporation. In about 1,000 sq. m area, we can accommodate around 3,000 plants of all types,” Mr. Damodara Rao said.

“By using such techniques, compared to general plantations, we can see 10 times faster growth of plants and 30 times dense afforestation,” he added.

“These Miyawaki forests help in reducing evaporation and weed growth. They also generate biodiversity, as we plant flower, fruit species. Indirectly, these dense forests reduce air pollution, control day temperature, control soil absorption and also recharge groundwater. The cool breeze from these trees can be experienced for one to two km surroundings,” the officer said.

In the past, the civic body has set up three Miyawaki forests at various places. The GVMC is spending around ₹50 lakh for the development of these plantations. Officials are also working with several PSUs and Resident Welfare Association (RWAs) for the maintenance of these forests.

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