City’s first Miyawaki forest turns one

Corporation aims to raise 1,000 such plantations, wants residents to identify vacant spaces

February 01, 2021 12:24 am | Updated 12:24 am IST - CHENNAI

Green initiative:  The Greater Chennai Corporation’s miyawaki forest at Canal Bank Road, Gandhi Nagar, near Kotturpuram MRTS station.

Green initiative: The Greater Chennai Corporation’s miyawaki forest at Canal Bank Road, Gandhi Nagar, near Kotturpuram MRTS station.

As the first Miyawaki forest in Chennai turns one this week, the Greater Chennai Corporation wants the residents’ associations to notify details about unused spaces in their neighbourhood for raising a similar forest.

The Corporation aims at raising 1,000 such plantations. It has already raised Miyawaki forest in about 20 locations in the last one year in the city.

The first Miyawaki forest was created in Kotturpuram near the MRTS station after clearing 1,600 tonnes of debris one year ago.

Over 2,210 saplings were planted and the trees and shrubs have shown significant growth in one year, thriving on the compost derived from household waste.

Rich harvest

After one year, the Miyawaki forest has produced banana fruits, hibiscus flowers, papaya and drumstick pods, with 70 jackfruit trees, 40 tamarind trees and 50 neem trees vying for space. The 70 jackfruit trees are expected to form a part of the canopy that includes 400 trees belonging to eight local species.

Officials said the trees were selected from among those found in Chennai. “We finalised 39 species of trees and shrubs. Four distinct layers are expected to be formed after seven years.” The canopy has 400 trees on top, a second layer of another 410 trees, a sub-layer of 410 trees and 800 shrubs at the bottom.

The growth has been 10 times faster and the density of greenery has been 30 times more than the usual. The land was readied for plantation by utilising 80 tonnes of compost, 18 tonnes of coir pith, 12 tonnes of cow dung and two tonnes of straw. Residents of the area have not been permitted to visit the Miyawaki forest. “We will permit students to study the Miyawaki forest,” said an official.

Buzzing with birds

“Butterflies and birds have increased in the area. The details about the Miyawaki forest in Kotturpuram have been given in a board inside the area. The font size is small and is not visible from the outer boundary of the Miyawaki forest. We request the Corporation to place the board at the boundary so that residents are able to read the technical details about the Miyawaki forests,” said R. Saravanan, a resident.

After seven years, the Miyawaki forest in Kotturpuram is expected to absorb 43 tonnes of carbon dioxide and release 200 tonnes of oxygen, officials said.

The Corporation plans to hold a meeting with residents on Monday. It has decided to launch programme to create awareness of green spaces in every residential area in the 15 zones of the city, motivating residents’ associations to support such initiatives.

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