New Delhi: Saplings of chinar and cherry blossoms were on Monday (June 5), planted by Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena and Union minister Meenakashi Lekhi in the ‘Yamuna Vatiika’ being developed as part of an ongoing restoration and rejuvenation of the Yamuna floodplains. The plantation drive was undertaken as part of an event organised by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to mark World Environment Day.
‘Yamuna Vatiika’ is spread over an area of approximately 450 acres on the western bank of floodplains from Old Railway Bridge to ITO Barrage, officials said.
As part of the drive, 500 saplings of cherry blossoms and as many of chinar were planted at the “latest permanent public green asset” being created in Delhi, after the development of Asita and Baansera, they said.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, the LG joined a plantation drive at Yamuna Vatiika on the western bank of river Yamuna.
Happy to see a permanent eco-sustainable green recreational asset that is being developed by DDA for the people of Delhi, which will restore the glory of Yamuna and rejuvenate the floodplains thereby creating breathable public green space, Ms. Lekhi tweeted.
The LG said efforts being made by the DDA for restoration of the Yamuna floodplains will not only create environment-friendly permanent green recreational assets for the people of Delhi but also mitigate direct pollution of Yamuna.
The ambitious project was lying in limbo for over seven years, and gained impetus, after the Delhi High Court passed an order in favour of the DDA, according to an official statement issued by the urban body.
It is for the first time that an effort has been made to introduce flora species like chinar and cherry blossoms in Delhi. Recently, chinar and cherry blossoms were planted on the Yamuna islands and the saplings have shown rapid growth, it said.
At ‘Yamuna Vatiika’, saplings of chinar and cherry blossoms have been planted on over 10 acres of land in a three-layer circular grid formation with a big lush green patch in the centre, the DDA said.
These trees, when in bloom, will offer a majestic view. These saplings were first kept under a controlled atmosphere in nurseries for a month to let them acclimatise to Delhi’s weather. Thereafter, the saplings were planted on the Yamuna flood plains today, it said.
‘Yamuna Vatiika’, like other similar projects, envisages restoration of the ecological character of the floodplains of river Yamuna, while also providing respite from the dense urban character of central Delhi and east Delhi, Saxena was quoted as saying in the statement.
Lakhs of people living in residential colonies on the eastern banks of the river, Daryaganj, Kashmere Gate and the Walled City, apart from commuters from north Delhi, will find an open recreational space at this project being aesthetically developed, he said.
To maintain the ecological character of Yamuna floodplains, DDA is creating floodplain forests, terrestrial and aquatic grasslands, riverine buffer plantation along the edge of the river and eco-restoration plantation in the form of a multi-grid plantation. The ‘Yamuna Vatiika’ will have a 10-acre garden of seasonal flowers, walkways, jogging and cycling tracks, eco-friendly temporary structures for eateries and cafeteria, public utilities, event area, bio-retention zone, adventure zone with kids play area and wetland with viewing deck, the statement said.
The existing depressions have been restored into water bodies or wetlands (four water bodies) encased in an area of about 7.40 hectares, as catchment, that can hold approximately 185 million litres of floodwaters, it said.
At least 12,600 trees of floodplain-specific species and approximately 55 lakh riverine grasses are being planted, it added.
About 100-150 mts of the area along the Ring Road bypass has been developed as a greenway that has been provided with ‘kaccha’ walkways and cycle tracks along with the provision of public spaces with amenities, the DDA said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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