Tirupati: Aiming to improve the urban landscape, Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) has embarked on development of more ‘Miyawaki Forest’ zones in the temple city.
While the first one at Avilala Panchayat has been taken up in over an acre, the second is coming up on a half-acre extent at Gandhi Puram and third on a two-acre extent in Gaja Lakshmi layout.
Miyawaki Forest is essentially a park with high-density plantation that helps to restore mini- forests in urban or populated areas.
The concept was first introduced in Japan by renowned botanist and plant ecology expert Akira Miyawaki. The method advocates planting of more trees in small spaces, unlike the traditional method of planting trees with sufficient space between saplings.
While hundreds of trees are being cut down to widen roads in the city, authorities like TUDA, municipal corporation and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) been carrying out ‘Compensatory Afforestation’ by planting more saplings for each axed tree, to make up for the green cover that has been lost in the name of development projects.
For instance, on either side of the six-km stretch between Alipiri and Cherlopalli, nearly 1,300 trees (decades-old) were axed in order to widen the existing double-way. At first, authorities gave the nod for cutting down 2,300 trees. However, the alignment of the road was slightly changed later to save another 940 trees. This measure decreased the extent of damage to the ecosystem.
To compensate for the loss in green cover, the TTD planted 10-20 saplings for each axed tree and took up massive plantation, besides translocating nearly 193 trees.
On its part, the TUDA has taken up the task of developing ‘Miyawaki Forest’ in Avilala panchayat located on the outskirts of the city. It has planted over 4,000 varieties of plants of 130 species in a small area of 1.3 acres. Bolstered by the success, the Authority has planned to bring up more such Miyawaki parks in its jurisdiction.
“Presently, works are underway at Gandhi Puram and Gaja Lakshmi layouts. We have chosen around 1,800 plants of 100 species for these two sites, including native plants like Maredu, Bandaru, Peddamanu, Udaga and Chigara. These trees have wider canopy and boost the ecosystem with microbes, insects, reptiles, worms, and birds,” said a TUDA official....