New Delhi, July 2, 2020: Over the years, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi has become an increasing cause of concern. The ITO crossing of New Delhi has recorded particularly high air pollution levels.
In response to these developments and keeping in view its community responsibilities, the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India which is located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg has taken steps to establish an Urban Forest in the Office Park.
Keeping in view the limited area, local material was adopted to enable intensive afforestation.
The forest is made up of trees which are native to the area and are three dimensional, multi-layered communities having 30 times the surface area of the greenery of sin-gle-layered lawn and have more than 30 times the ability to protect against natural disasters and to con-serve the environment.
Inaugurating the Urban forest, Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar expressed happi-ness and said that this would be a dense urban forest with multiple tree layers including 12000 saplings of 59 indigenous species in another year or so.
Highlighting the importance of Urban forests, Javadekar said that they are lungs of the cities and act as an oxygen bank and Carbon Sink.
The Environment Minister appre-ciated that the Miyawaki method of forest creation is employed which could help in reducing the tempera-ture by as much as 14 degree and increase the moisture by over 40%.
With minimal maintenance, including watering and de-weeding, the urban forest will be self-sustain-able by October 2021.
The Urban forest has an ecosys-tem which has the capacity to restore habitat for birds, bees, but-terflies and microfauna. These are essential for pollination of crops and fruits and to help maintain a bal-anced ecosystem.
A dense forest ecosystem has been created in an area that is little over 1 acre in size. The multi-layered for-est has shrubs, small to medium-size trees and tall trees carefully arranged as peripheral and core plant communities.
Some of the rare, native species planted here include Anogeissus pendula (Dhonk), Diospyros cordi-folia (Bistendu), Ehretia laevis (chamrod), Wrightia tinctoria (Doo-dhi), Mitragyna parvifolia (Kaim), Butea monosperma (Palash), Clero-dendrum phlomidis(Arni), Grewia asiatica (Falsa), Phoenix sylvestris (Khajoor) and Helicteres isora (Marodphali).