Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, which created a lush green Ukkunagaram – the township of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant -- has set its eyes on the Guinness Book of World Records by planting 60,000 species in half an hour.
Continuing its unblemished record of creating one record after another, it has been successful in creating a Greens' Paradise on its premises covering around 20,000 acres. VSP has been following several methods and techniques to maintain a clean and green environment in and around the plant right from its inception, a RINL official said.
While producing steel, RINL not only deals with fire but also provides cool and clean environment to its workforce. Due to thick vegetation and excellent sea breeze, the township is four to five degrees cooler as compared to other parts of the city. The Navratna company has so far spent around Rs. 460 crore in Stage-I. It will spend Rs. 1,150 crore for environmental protection in its expansion programme.
National norm crossed
RINL said they had surpassed the national norm of covering 33 per cent of green belt area of the total land of 3,600 hectares by achieving plantation of 41 per cent trees.
RINL is planning to plant 6.3 million trees by 2012 by the time the expansion to 6.3 million tonne production stabilises. The green belt covers plantation of trees all around the VSP land boundary to a width of 500 meters. Another highlight is planting of various types of fruit trees in each residential quarter in the township.
Around 24 lakh casuarina trees have been planted to effectively combat tsunami and to act as wind barriers during cyclones as the plant is located in close proximity to the sea. Over 18 lakh variety species of neem, babul and teak have been planted to contain air pollution and for carbon sequestration.
Another notable feature in Ukkunagaram is developing of Arogyavanam (medicinal park) near the Hilltop Guesthouse by planting 5,000 species of medicinal plants. It is designed like a human body. In each part of the body the relevant curable plants are planted. Oxygen released by the medicinal plant is very beneficial in curing the pre-radicals which are the main cause for degenerative disease like BP and cancer. This park will act as an alternative health project and it will be dedicated to the employees very soon.