Saplings below Sahar road to keep encroachers away

Published: Dec 28, 2013, 07:21 IST | Neha LM Tripathi |

Divider below the elevated road leading to T2 terminal of the international airport will get a leafy facelift, with plants; this would ensure that it remains free of drifters and unauthorised settlers

With the T2 terminal of the international airport all set to be operational by mid-January, the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) is trying to give the median along the road a makeover, by planting trees. Authorities feel that this would not only keep the median free from encroachment but also beautify it, giving commuters on their way to the airport a pretty view.

The divider under the Sahar elevation road has plants such as ferns and rhapis palms

Plants such as ferns and rhapsis palm are being grown in the soil in the divider. The miniature palm does not require watering regularly. Even if it is watered once in two days, it will grow flawlessly. Another of its distinct features is that it does not require much direct sunlight, which is why it is ideal for the location, as it will easily survive in the shade of the road above.

“It’s great to hear that the authorities have thought about this idea. Tourists visiting the country have to use this road to get to any place they want to go. Hence, various plants on the flowerbed under the Sahar elevated road will give a feel good factor,” said Sandeep Verma, who frequently uses this road.

These plants will line the divider for more than a kilometre. So far, work has been completed on a patch of 400 metres. Work on the remaining stretch is in progress. It bears mentioning that encroachment has battered the median under the Metro rail bridge on JP Road in Andheri. Since the divider was devoid of plants, people occupied them.

“This is a pleasing experience for all commuters using the road. The entire stretch feels like a breath of fresh air while driving through,” said Bhagyashree Samant, a frequent user of the road. Speaking to MiD DAY, an official from the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said, “We always want to do something to make Mumbaikars proud. We are aware that there are slum areas nearby due to which chances of encroachment are high. Hence, we came up with this idea to keep them away.” 

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