Mumbai: BMC administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal recently approved a project to create an urban forest at Marol on the banks of Mithi river. The civic body will plant 139 species of trees on the 3.2-acre plot. The cost of the project is around Rs7.53 crore and will be funded by the District Planning Committee (DPC).
Urban forest planned to fight climate change
The Marol Industrial Estate is one of the least-performing wards in terms of tree coverage with high mean land surface temperatures (LST). So it was decided to develop an urban forest after the Mumbai Climate Action Plan indicated a rising LST in the past decade, especially when the work on Metro Line 1 started. The project was the brainchild of former State Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray.
The BMC has a 1.9-acre garden in Sat Baug area in Marol which is on the north side of Metro Line 1. An adjoining plot measuring 1.3 acres has been taken over from Marol Co-operative Industrial Estate for the project. Besides 139 types of trees, the plot will also have shrubs to attract butterflies, medicinal plants, an exhibition centre, first aid, ticket house, wildlife artefact etc.
Tender floated, funds allotted in June 2022
The tender for the project was floated in June 2022. Funds for the same have now been allotted from a separate provision under the DPC. The proposal was finally approved in December 2022, with the contract having been awarded to M/s CR Shah. The plantation and infrastructure will be developed within a year, officials said.
A three-year contract for maintenance of the plantation will also be awarded, civic sources said.