Japan to the rescue of Mumbai's green cover

Updated: Jul 30, 2019, 07:54 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Civic chief calls for experts in Japanese Miyawaki method of plantation to boost city's green cover

Japan to the rescue of Mumbai's green cover
The land behind Inorbit Mall, Malad, has been developed by horticulturist Robert Fernandes through the Miyawaki technique that involves closer plantation of trees

After bringing Singapore to its zoos, and Shanghai to its infrastructure, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation now plans to bring Japan to its forests. Having approved the implementation of the Japanese Miyawaki technique of plantation earlier this month, BMC commissioner Pravin Pardeshi this week called for experts to explain this method to ward officials. The Garden and Trees department can then begin work on it. The idea was also shared with MMRDA officials in a meeting between the two agencies.

Miyawaki is a plantation technique that helps faster and denser growth of trees. Pardeshi has thus instructed the garden department officials to involve Miyawaki experts in the panel to aid its Urban Forestry plan that was announced last month. Officials were asked to spot locations suitable for undertaking Miyawaki plantations. Accordingly, certain locations in Kurla, Chandivli, near Bandra fort, Annabhau Sathe garden and step garden at Kandivli have been shortlisted. These are large spaces with an area around 20,000 sq m. The Japanese method of developing plants will ensure 10 times faster and 30 times denser growth, civic officials said.

In a meeting early this month, civic officials were briefed about this method. "Fifty per cent of Veera Desai area in Andheri should be considered for such Urban Forestry," an official in attendance told mid-day. Landscape horticulturist Robert Fernandes has welcomed the move, saying, "This is a very good initiative. The chosen plot looks denser with Miyawaki. It will help boost the city's green cover. I have already initiated this method by using local at an open space in Malad behind Inorbit Mall." While Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of gardens, remained unavailable for comment, another civic official said, "Once experts are roped in, the method could easily be used by us. The commissioner has been taking a keen interest in ensuring decent green cover in the city. He began by calling a meeting with green activists and implementing several suggestions discussed there."

Towards a greener city

In a recent conference of MMRDA officials, BMC officials, IIT experts, and developers among others, various ideas for developing the city better were discussed. An expert from London also presented a draft of London's integrated transport system and stressed on how public transport was the need of the hour. Sources present in the meeting revealed that the reduction in BEST fares wasn't very appreciated. Instead, an increase in frequency was discussed to be a better option. Development of certain areas on the lines of Sabarmati River Front was also discussed. The Building Proposal and Development Plan department might have to consider a separate Floor Space Index for such areas, the source said. Along with Miyawaki, Rain Water Harvesting, Sewerage Treatment Plants and Waste Composting must be mandatory for building approvals, officials argued.

20,000sq m
Approximate area of gardens chosen for Miyawaki plantation

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