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Tree ownership rights to growers may boost green cover

By Our Staff Correspondent



The Forest Department's scheme to vest tree ownership rights with growers will help increase the green cover in Mysore.

MYSORE, AUG. 25. A unique plan, which envisages vesting tree ownership rights with growers, is expected to help increase the green cover of Mysore.

The plan was conceived by the State Government and is being implemented in the city by the Mysore Forest Division. It is a unique effort to promote community participation in enhancing the green cover of the city and to combat pollution. As per the scheme, individuals interested in growing trees may plant them on the vacant spot opposite their houses and on pavements. The Forest Department will launch the programme in Vijaynagar Extension. It will be extended to other residential areas in the city later.

Those interested in the scheme may contact the Forest Department on ph: 2483853 between 10.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. before August 28.

Project

The project will complement another scheme launched a few years ago, which envisaged participation by the Government and private institutions in the city. As per the project, the Forest Department identified open spaces belonging to institutions and planted 24,000 saplings as neither the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) nor the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) evinced interest in arresting the depleting green cover of Mysore.

This was in addition to the urban greening programme, which was launched in new residential areas such as Bogadi, Ramakrishna Nagar, Sharadadevi Nagar, Kuvempunagar, etc. Likewise, the Forest Department identified government, public sector and private sector institutions for participation in the greening programme and 5,000 saplings were planted on the land belonging to the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).

`Green Mysore'

The Forest Department's latest venture of vesting tree ownership rights with the growers is reckoned to be a step in the right direction to enthuse people to plant saplings. A similar plan to increase the green cover of Mysore has been mooted by non-governmental organisations which wish to dovetail their activities by including students and educational institutions in their endeavour to "Green Mysore.''

The vision document of the Mysore Agenda Task Force has similar plans for greening the residential areas under the MCC and the MUDA. These efforts comes at a time when the civic authorities in Mysore have a formidable challenge to arrest the erosion of green cover and maintain the city's lung space. The "Green Mysore'' campaign envisaged by the Forest Department, non-governmental organisations and the MATF is reckoned to be timely as the MUDA plans to create five more residential areas in the city. The "Green Mysore'' project is also crucial in view of the growing encroachment around the Chamundi Hills.

Planned growth

Mysore was the first city in Asia to take up planned development resulting in enviable amount of lung space and open areas in the form of parks, gardens and forests.

The City Improvement Trust Board (CITB), constituted by Nalvudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1903, and the visionary diwans who worked under him, conceived well-built roads and aesthetically pleasing buildings which earned Mysore an international reputation for urban planning. The reputation was intact till late 1970s and mid 1980s after which the urban decay set in.

With a decline in the management capability of the civic authorities, the landscape of Mysore began to alter beyond recognition. The MUDA's latest plan to create five more residential areas will leave an indelible mark on the landscape of Mysore with erosion of the city's green cover and obliteration of its lung space.

Areas such as D. Devaraja Urs Road, JLB Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, Irwin Road and Ashoka Road are choking owing to pollution, and only a conscious decision to increase the green cover would help Mysore regain its glory.

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