Urban forest parks ready, yet remain closed for public
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
The urban forest parks, each sprawling over at least 1,000 acres, have been awaiting inauguration, despite being completed and ready for use
According to the HMDA officials, there are 129 locations where the forest blocks have nearly 1,50,000 acres within the HMDA and GHMC limits. (Representational image/Pixabay)
HYDERABAD: The much-touted urban forest parks on the suburbs of the state capital, though completed and ready for inaugurations, are inaccessible for public as officials keep them closed on flimsy grounds.
The state government may restrict entry to the public parks in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits, due the surge of Covid-19 cases in the city, but it is just a possibility and cannot be a reason for the civic officials not to open the forest parks as people who are deprived of lung spaces are desperately looking for a recess to breathe some fresh air.
These urban forest parks, each sprawling over at least 1,000 acres, have been awaiting inauguration, despite being completed and ready for use. Out of 16 urban forest blocks, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) opened only one at Amberpet Kalan and put it to public use and the rest of them are waiting for inauguration.
The forest blocks in and around cities in the states are being developed into urban forest parks (UFP) under the flagship programme of Telanganaku Haritha Haram. The municipal authority has been entrusted with the work of developing 16 clusters of urban forest blocks and beautifying the city of Hyderabad and its surrounding areas within a radius of 100 kms. These urban forest parks will not only provide a healthy living environment but also contribute to the growth of smart, clean, green, sustainable and healthy cities in the state.
According to the HMDA officials, there are 129 locations where the forest blocks have nearly 1,50,000 acres within the HMDA and GHMC limits. Of them, the HMDA, in coordination with the forest department, has completed 16 of them in two years.
These parks are a big hit among the local citizens and there is a lot of appreciation from the public. These parks will be mainly used by morning walkers, day visitors, schoolchildren and student community. These parks will provide lung spaces for the city dwellers and have a great recreational facility during the weekends. These parks will not only provide the required oxygen to the denizens but will also play a vital role in the preservation and conservation of local biodiversity and thus help in maintaining the local ecological balance.
A senior HMDA official, requesting anonymity, said despite being completed, urban forest parks were not thrown open to public use as the higher authorities were waiting for them to be inaugurated by some prominent personalities. He said the one inaugurated at Amberpet Kalan was an instant hit as it had facilities such as gazebos, medicinal and flowering plants, walking tracks, yoga centres, and children's play area. The official said if inaugurated, the parks would be of great help for morning walkers, joggers and others as each one of them spread over 1,000 acres and could be used following Covid-19 guidelines. However, he said that a final call had to be taken up by the state government. He said overall 59 urban forest parks were being developed for greenery in urban areas - HMDA 16, GHMC 3, TSIIC 7, HMRL 2, TSFDC 4 and the forest department 27.
Urban forest parks within the HMDA limits are Oxygen Park (Kandlakoya), Bhagyanagar Nandana Vanam (Narepally), Jatayu Urban Park (Medipally) Shanti Vanam (Medipally) Prashanti Vanam (Kandlakoya), Ayush Vanam, Oxy-Zone and Kartika Vanam in Dulapally, Somi Vanam (Somajpalle), Tangedu Vanam (Lakkaram), Smrithi Vanam (Choutuppal), Panchavati (Dominar), Sanjeevani Vanam (Gurramguda), Jungle Camp (Masjidgadda), MHV National Park (Hayathnagar), Arogya Sanjeevani Vanam (Gurramguda), Tejo Vanam (Marpegadda) and Narsapur Urban Forest Park.