Shri V.P. Singh Badnore, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh inaugurated ‘Nagar Van (City Forests)’ in the presence of Smt.Kirron Kher, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Chandigarh.
The function was also attended by Sh. Parimal Rai, IAS , Adviser to Administrator, Shri Anurag Agarwal, IAS, Home Secretary-cum- Secretary (Environment & Forests), Sh. A K Sinha, IAS, Finance Secretary, Sh. Santosh Kumar, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests & CWLW, Sh.T.C .Nautiyal, IFS, C.F and other officers of Chandigarh Administration. Around 100 students of New Public School, Chandigarh also participated in this event. On this occasion, Chief Guest planted the sapling of “Peepal Tree’.
The Chief Guest appreciated the efforts taken by Forest Department in developing this City Forests for people of Chandigarh. He desired that efforts be made to develop this area as a good bird/Aviary destination for bird lovers.
Sh.Santosh Kumar, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden, UT, Chandigarh informed that Department of Forests & Wildlife, UT Chandigarh has established ‘Nagar Van’ (City Forests) of around 100 hectares area under Lake Beat of Chandigarh Range behind Sukhna Lake. Nagar Van Udyan Yojana is an Urban Forestry Scheme of Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), New Delhi, which aims at creating at least one city forest in each city having Municipal Corporation/ Class I Cities for providing wholesome healthy living environment and contribution to growth of smart, clean, green and healthy city. Under this scheme, Department of Forests & Wildlife, UT Chandigarh has created City Forest (Nagar Van) in and around Lake Reserve Forest Area with 80% financial assistance from Central Government. The total cost of the Project is about Rs. 2.00 crores. It spreads over an area of 100 hectare with following facilities :-
Walkways / Jogging Trails / Nature Trails
Shallow Water Bodies
Visitor’s Shed / Rain shelter
Exercise Equipments (Open Air Gym)
He further informed that Forest Department has also successfully carried out bio-treatment of sewage water by traditional organic method for the sewage water coming from Kansal area of Punjab and entering into Lake Forests of UT Chandigarh. Forest department has constructed water channel of about 2 kms. long to divert this sewage water to a shallow water body created under Nagar Van Udyan Yojana. The Saccharum munja, rice straw, gravel, iron ores etc. were put between the channel in order to oxidize the water by traditional method of bio-treatment. Due to pro-active approach, the BOD levels of this water has been reduced from 70-80 mg/I to 7-11 mg/I and COD level is reduced from 200-210 mg/l to 27-32 mg/l respectively as per reports of Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) obtained through water analysis.
On this occasion, the “Greening Chandigarh Action Plan 2018-19” was also released by the Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh at Nagar Van (City Forests). This Annual Greening Chandigarh Action Plan is a guiding tool for all the greening agencies of Chandigarh Administration to strategies effectively to fulfill their commitment of making City Beautiful more clean & green. It was told that against the target of 2,35,000 saplings in 2017-18, altogether 2,39,126 saplings were planted and this year 2018-19, a target of 2,43,000 saplings have been fixed. A book ‘Birds of Chandigarh’ was also released by the Chief Guest.
Sh.Santosh Kumar, IFS, CCF has informed that Forests & Wildlife Department, UT Chandigarh in association with Chandigarh Birds Club has attempted to bring this guide book for the benefit of residents. This guidebook will help to draw the attention of amateur bird watchers, environmentalists and ornithologists to this planned urban city, where visitors can enjoy diverse birds and other faunal life of this city and its forest areas and this will help the government as well as civil society to protect the Bio-diversity of the region as well as Sukhna Lake. It will also strengthen the most vital, yet missing link between the local people and city’s biodiversity