In order to maintain ecological balance around capital Raipur, the Chhattisgarh forest department is planning to develop an “urban forest”. Raipur has a tropical wet and dry climate where its summer temperature goes beyond 480 C to touch even 500C. Greenery around the city may help to keep the summer temperature at moderate level.
Additional Chief Secretary (Forests) C K Khetan last week chaired a meeting of Forest department and Indian Forest Service officials and directed them to draft guidelines and an action plan for developing an urban forest around Raipur. In the meeting, Khetan said the urban forest would help maintain ecological balance around Raipur. At the meeting it was decided to select best programmes of the Forest department being implemented currently and prepare three to four good guidelines for the purpose. Focus will be given on joint forest management, plantation on river banks and expansion of greenery schemes for developing urban forest.
It may be recalled here that in 2017, then Raman Singh government had taken a bold decision to demolish old government buildings in the heart of the city to release 18 acres of land (worth Rs 1,000 crores) to create what then described as eco-zone. The government’s decision came close on the heels of Raipur getting a tag of 7th most polluted city in the world.
Urban forestry is the care and management of tree populations in urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment. The concept of urban forestry, which advocates the role of trees as a critical part of the urban structure, was developed to address the issue of impact on forestry by urbanization. It is believed that urban forests mitigate the effects of urban heat island through evapotranspiration and the shading of streets and buildings. This improves human comfort, reduces the risk of heat stroke and decreases costs to cool buildings.