Barren land turns into a green zone
While the city was turning into a concrete jungle with rampant construction, a 25-acre barren land was quietly being turned into a green zone.
Around 25 kms from Thane near Bhavale village on ThaneNashik highway, 30,000 trees were planted in seven years.
The land belongs to the forest department and was given to the NGO Hariyali to turn it into a green zone. On Sunday, the NGO will hand over the land to the forest department.
Deputy forest conservator Kishor Thackeray said: “We signed an agreement with the NGO Hariyali and allowed them plantation for seven years. There are five small lakes and 15 small dams in the area which were lying neglected and unused. The NGO members gave a new life to the water bodies. The green cover as well as the ground Thane-based NGO Hariyali converted 25 acres of barren land in Lonad Village, Bhiwandi, into forest in seven years.
water table level in the area has increased.”
The NGO spent Rs7 lakh for the project which was funded by corporates under corporate social responsibility. “We first planted 10,000 saplings but they
were burned in a fire in 2008. We replanted the saplings. We have now planted 30,000 trees on the land in seven years,” Poonam Singhvi, chairman of Hariyali.
The two villages near the plot, Lonad and Bhavale, have also benefitted from the project.
Every summer, the villagers used to face water scarcity and depended on tanker water. The project improved the ground water table level and solved the water woes of the residents.
“The wells and borewells in our village do not go dry in May,” said Mahesh Patil, 42, a resident of Lonad village.
Singhvi said that they have hired two security guards to protect the green cover till they grow.