Madurai

Efforts on to improve green cover in urban spaces

An urban grove being developed on Madurai Kamaraj University premises to restore green cover.   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

In order to tackle the effects of climate change conditions, efforts have been taken to restore and protect the green cover in Madurai. Green covers are being introduced and developed in urban spaces.

While Urban Grove has been introduced by DHAN Foundation, Madurai Corporation intends to use the road margins and vacant spaces by using Miyawaki method to increase the urban green cover in the city. The urban sacred grove (‘koil kaadugal), a community-based development initiative, was introduced in March 2020 in association with HCL Foundation. A total of 14 acres of urban green cover is being developed on Madurai Kamaraj University premises.

The objective is to grow trees close to each other to achieve a dense green cover. The local self-help group has been drafted to grow and maintain the green cover. The emphasis is to grow only native trees. So far 5,000 saplings have been planted.

Water channels, percolation ponds and trenches have been dug for water catchment purpose. The idea was to also use the space for educational purposes. Youngsters and children will benefit and learn about the native trees, said the members of DHAN Foundation.

Similar to the grove in the University premises, another urban grove has been developed by the foundation in Tirupparankundram. A garbage dump has been completely transformed and it is an urban sacred grove now. It has improved the microclimate in the surrounding area.

Madurai Corporation intends to develop the green cover in road margins and vacant spaces. As of now 200 saplings have been planted along the Airport road. More such saplings would be planted in the coming days, said Corporation Commissioner K. P. Karthikeyan.

Miyawaki method

The Corporation is developing the green cover using Miyawaki method, a Japanese method of urban afforestation. The saplings will be planted and would be geotagged. Volunteers and students would also be involved in the exercise.

Residential associations, educational institutions and industrial establishments should come forward to increase the green cover. The proper space should be identified and the development and restoration should go hand in hand, said environmental activists.

However, not just any sapling should be planted. Native trees should be identified. Citing an example, they said the Mitragyna Parvifolia species of the Kadamda was a native. It should be used. Everyone should get together in this venture to improve the green cover, they said.


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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 11:21:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/efforts-on-to-improve-green-cover-in-urban-spaces/article37079877.ece

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