With its pleasant and amiable beaches, appealing green patches all over, Visakhapatnam is an aesthetically pleasing, but experts believe that unless strict measures are taken to convert the hills into green zones, the city will run out of space for greenery in the next decade.
Vivek Rathod, a member of MEECONS-Vizag Chapter said, “The problem with Vizag is common to all quick growing cities. Thanks to the hills and valleys, places such as the zoo park, Kambalakonda Eco-Park, Sita Konda, Animal Rescue Centre and Simhachalam hills provide green avenues. But the fact remains that this space is shrinking chiefly due to encroachments and ‘development’.”
Though the city is being beautified with ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees, they do not do much good to the environment, as they do not belong to the city’s native ecology. KS Patrudu, who worked for the soil conservation department in South Odisha, Telangana and north coastal AP as a field engineer, said, “The hills of Vizag should be used to develop native green species that help provide a great deal of canopy cover for most of the year and are also less expensive to maintain.”
It has been observed by the experts that native species such as blueberry (neeredu) combined with margosa, mango, jumbo sapota, jumbo badam, badam, sweet tamarind, soapnut, custard apple, native timber trees, and jackfruit can be used along with jamun, custard apple and citrus trees can be used to create green zones in the city.
“Planting native species will help promote and develop the local ecology and draw a number of birds and small animals back into the urban space apart from of course providing ample lungs to the residents of the city” stated Mr. Vivek Rathod.