Saturday, June 4, 2016

Green Smart New Town Kolkata

Tomorrow is World Environment Day. Many citizen groups are observing the day in New Town by planting saplings. We have got several requests from Block Welfare Associations and Corporates like Power Grid Corporation etc to indicate site where tree plantation can be carried out on 5th June or soon thereafter. The AB -AE Block Welfare Committee  came in a group yesterday and requested me to join them at a tree plantation programme at 7 o'clock in the morning (I was amazed by their enthusiasm, one said, being a late sleeper, he'd stay awake the night before !). We are also thinking of inviting a competition among housing welfare associations, senior citizen groups and corporates to award prizes on the maximum number of surviving seedlings after one year.

In the administrative meeting at Town Hall, Hon'ble Chief Minister stressed on the importance of making long term plans. The Smart City Plan that was approved by Govt of India recently spreads across five years and we are trying to put yearwise milestones. The Smart City Plan contains a major sub-programme entitled "Sustainable Environment" . There are many components to this program including creation of 12,750 sq m of shaded walkways, creating avenue and canal-side plantation and pocket forests. We will be implementing some of these shortly.

On behalf of Hidco, I have recently requested Forest Department to do a massive plantation this monsoon, preferably by converging other national programmes like Namami Gange (which has a component of plantation in Eco Park), compensatory forestry etc. While a detailed plan is under development, after a primary survey, it is expected to include 40,000 seedlings at various places of New Town. The plantations may start from 15 July while preparation and earthwork will start soon. The Plantation Plan is expected to be ready by tomorrow. Indeed, a Tall Tree nursery has already been set up along a canal in Action Area 1D.

Tall Tree Nursery of Forest Department in New Town
 In a recent meeting at Nabanna  last Wednesday, Hon'ble Chief Minister advised me to make New Town a Green City. Accordingly,  I had a long discussion yesteerday afternoon with the creative partner of Hidco, M/s Lintas about ways in which to engage citizens in the greening movement. They will come up with a strategy soon that will dovetail with the plan for making New Town a Green City.
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Salam Duniya dt 4 June 2016

Times of India dt 4 June 2016

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