Corporation to plant one lakh saplings as part of afforestation drive

This monsoon, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is preparing to add to the city’s green cover by planting one lakh saplings as part of the afforestation drive.

In a departure from the trend of earlier such drives when large scale planting of exotic species used to be taken up, the focus this time will be on native species that are to be planted on the main road medians, colony roads and layout open spaces.

Some of the local plant species selected for the programme includes ‘Neem’, ‘Kanuga’ and ‘Neredu’. According to the official more than 2.50 lakh saplings were being raised in 15 nurseries of the GHMC located in different parts of the city.

“We will be using one lakh of them this year and the rest will grow and be ready for next year’s drive,” Additional Commissioner (Urban Biodiversity), N. Chandramohan Reddy, said. Some of the bigger nurseries of GHMC are located at Rajendranagar, Nallagandla, Indira Park, HPS Begumpet, Chitra Layout and Chacha Nehru Park.

There will be exotic species too but the effort this time is to go for native species in more numbers. “It is not that we do not like the exotic plants but the focus is on local species as they are more helpful for birds in setting up nests and look for food and also nectar for butterflies,” he explained.

Species matrix

The effort is also to improve the species matrix and bring in diversity with more different plant species. “Earlier few limited species were being used for plantation drive which we have increased to encompass a range of around 100 species,” the official said. Of the one lakh plants, GHMC is making arrangements to have at least 50,000 with tree guards to ensure their safety till they grow to a certain age.

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