As part of its project to create urban forests in the city, the BMC’s planning department has invited tenders for afforestation at Marol, along the stretch of the Mithi river. The ward housing Marol Industrial Estate is one of the least performing in terms of tree cover, with high mean land surface temperatures. So, the civic body has decided to plant 139 species of trees in an area of 3.2 acres at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.92 crore.
Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray has made a separate provision for funds under the district planning committee, to revitalize suburban Mumbai through tactical urban interventions. Accordingly, an initiative was taken by the BMC on January 26, 2020, by creating an urban forest in Bhakti Park at Wadala. Fifty-seven thousand trees were planted to create an ‘urban forest’, using the Miyawaki technique.
For the past two years, a project to develop Miyawaki forests based on the Japanese concept of having more trees in less space has been implemented, to enrich spaces in the city. The BMC has set a target of planting four lakh trees at 64 places in the city. Large flowering/shady trees, bamboo, palms, ground cover, grasses, fern, creepers/climbers and shrubs are being planted.
The garden department of the BMC is in search of new plots to create more urban forests in the city. The key objective of the project is to move towards sustainable development and create a climate-resilient environment. Accordingly, the civic body has earmarked land at Marol for this purpose, to safeguard the ecosystem and reduce the heat-island effect in the area.
“An increase in the concrete surface due to metro construction and reduction in tree coverage has contributed to increasing the land surface temperature at Marol. In the context of the Mithi river, it is critical to develope buffer zones that not only absorb river floods during heavy rainfall coupled with high tides but also act as a natural filtration system for surface run-off discharging in the river. So, it has been decided to create an urban forest in this stretch,” said a civic official.