In an attempt to improve Vizag’s green cover, the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has decided to develop Miyawaki forests in the city. Miyawaki is a technique pioneered by Japanese Botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense and native forests. The approach is supposed to ensure that the plant growth is 10 times faster, and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than the conventional methods. It involves planting dozens of native species in the same area. These forests become maintenance-free, three years after the plantation.
While the civic body had previously raised three urban forests at Gajuwaka, Rajeev Nagar, and Madhurawada, under the GVMC limits, the officials, in the latest, have identified barren lands to develop 25 more Miyawaki forests in Visakhapatnam. Apart from just giving a pleasant scenery for commuters, the dense forests are set to enhance the green cover of the city. Speaking to Yo!, GVMC Horticulture AD, M Damodhara Rao informed that out of these, 10 forests are about to come up in the Madhurawada zone and 15 more in Gajuwaka and Vepagunta zones. While half of the identified land will be converted into an urban forest, the rest of the area will be used for recreational activities, he said.
Sharing further details about the initiative, the GVMC Horticulture AD said that around 1,50,000 saplings will be planted in Visakhapatnam as a part of the project. “We are coordinating with the forest department to procure plants. As many as 40 native varieties will be planted in each of these forests,” Mr Rao mentioned. Adding that Miyawaki plantation is a multi-layered technique, he said that different species of plants should be grown in the shrub layer, sub-tree layer, tree layer, and emergent tree layer. In order to ensure smooth and quick perforation of water to the roots, biomass, rice or wheat husk, groundnut shells and other materials will be laid on the soil. Moisture retainer, like cocopeat and sugarcane bagasse, will be used in this method. Revealing the action plan of the project, the GVMC official said, “The saplings will be planted within 35 days. We are looking forward to having private agencies or any public sector undertakings on board to look after the maintenance of these forests.”
Earlier this month, the GVMC took up aerial seeding on the hilltops in Visakhapatnam. Around one lakh seed balls were sprayed on the hills and other areas in and around Vizag, under the aerial seeding initiative.