A 35-acre urban forest housing medicinal plants and herbs is set to come up in Pune’s Warje Malwadi. Called the ‘Sanjeevan Udyan’, it is to be developed jointly by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the forest department, The Hindustan Times reported. The report added that while inaugurating it, deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, Ajit Pawar, said it would be developed as an oxygen park. Corporator Deepali Dhumal of the PMC said that even though many oxygen plants were set up in Pune, this one would be permanent. “There is a need to increase forest cover in the city and this park will fulfil the oxygen needs of residents in the area and city. Both the PMC and forest department will be working jointly to develop the urban forest," the report quoted her as saying.
The report further cited the forest department who said that the urban forest would implement pollution control and beautification in addition to planting of medicinal plants. Planting of native trees is to be given priority in the area.
This is not the first instance of such an initiative in Pune. group of nature lovers in Pune has proved where there is a will, there is a way’ by creating in the city a patch of forest spread over more than 30 acres of land, which was once barren but is home to thousands of indigenous trees now.
This urban forest named ‘Anand Van’ is located in the NIBM area and it has been developed over the last few years by Anand Van Mitra Mandal (AVMM) on the land owned by the forest department, which has appreciated the group’s work. This voluntary group roped in local citizens, students, conservationists, corporates, and children from nearby slums in its uphill task of transforming the arid land into a green zone by carrying out weekly tree plantation drives.
As world reels from extreme climate conditions due to human activities alone, India will witness more heat waves, droughts, rainfall and cyclonic activities in the coming decades, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted. The country has witnessed extreme conditions such as heavy rains, which has led to frequent unprecedented floods — Uttarakhand in 2013, Kerala in 2018, Hyderabad in 2020 and Goa in 2021 – and cyclones, heat waves and cold waves. This has not only impacted human lives but the entire ecology.