Chennai

Corporation plans urban forests on OSR lands

The civic body will develop dense urban forests on the OSR lands by Japanese Miyawaki method. File

The civic body will develop dense urban forests on the OSR lands by Japanese Miyawaki method. File  

Initiative to reduce capital and maintenance expenditure

Chennai Corporation has planned to stop converting large OSR (Open Space Reserve) lands into conventional parks in the city to reduce capital and maintenance expenditure. Instead, the civic body will develop dense urban forests on the OSR lands by Japanese Miyawaki method.

The work on the first OSR land to be converted in to a dense urban forest is likely to be taken up in Anna Nagar zone near Koyambedu grade separator.

Corporation Commissioner G.Prakash has instructed the officials of Anna Nagar zone to develop the OSR land measuring 4.08 acres in Koyambedu near V.R.Mall into a dense urban forest. “More than 48,000 trees are likely to be planted in the dense urban forest near V.R.Mall. The OSR land was handed over by Ozone projects to meet the OSR land requirements,” said an official.

The OSR land was handed over to Ozone projects for a period of one year for development of a park on May 8, 2018. After inspecting the area recently, Chennai Corporation officials found that the time period for creation and maintenance of a park had lapsed for the developer. As a result, Corporation Commissioner instructed the zonal officials not to renew the permission given earlier to the developer for maintenance of a park.

The commissioner has also instructed the officials to make the dense urban forest in each area unique, with the selection of indigenous species. "In five years, the OSR lands will become dense urban forests in each neighbourhood. This will reduce pollution in the area," said an official. Residents will not be able to walk inside the dense urban forest. So, residents have requested the civic officials to lay a wide pathway around the dense urban forests to facilitate walking.

The developers of projects, who have been requesting the Chennai Corporation for permission to develop OSR lands, will get permission to maintain the OSR land only after the planting of the saplings for the dense urban forest by Miyawaki method.

Chennai Corporation has been maintaining at least 700 OSR lands in the city, developing conventional parks in these areas. Every year, at least 100 large OSR lands are expected to be handed over to the civic body by huge developers in the 15 zones of the city. These lands will soon be developed as dense urban forests, officials said.

Residents’ association members said the OSR lands should be used for the purpose of offering open space to residents during disasters. “Residents should get open space for gathering during disasters like earthquake. That is why urban planning rules stipulate handing over of 10% space towards OSR lands,” said a resident.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:33:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/corporation-plans-urban-forests-on-osr-lands/article30787113.ece

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