Bhubaneswar: Morning walkers at Buddha Jayanti Park didn’t bother to stretch their time a little more today as they found a reason which is close to their heart – afforestation happing inside the park. They joined with their fellow morning walkers and planted saplings on the hilltop forest area of the park under the mass community plantation initiative called ‘Sabuja Pahada’ jointly conducted by Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Chandaka Wildlife Division.
Around 2000 people from different sections of the society gathered at the hilltop area of Buddha Jayanti Park early morning and planted more than 1000 saplings of different species on an area spreads across 12 acres. Hundreds of senior citizens and members of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), members of Self-help Groups (SHGs), market associations, religious associations, transgender community, NGOs, representatives of political parties among others joined the plantation drive with keen interest. Prior to this, around 3000 saplings were already planted at this park.
Speaking on the occasion, Sulochana Das, Mayor, BMC, said, “BDA’s ‘Sabuja Pahada’ project is wonderful initiative since it involves local communities and people from all walks of life to save our environment. Nurturing a tree is similar to raising a child, so now our duty should be taking care of these planted saplings for its better growth then only we can achieve the desired target.”
Today, more than 2000 saplings of 35 different species were planted and adopted by people. These are Neem, Karanja, Patuli, Mehogany, Naga Champa, Swarna Champa, Baula, Spathodia, Sunari, Putranjiba, Pijuli, Atta, Amla, Bahada, Harida, Kaitha, Sapetha, Rudrakhya, Karamanga, Pesta Badam, Jamun, Tecoma, Tabubia rosea, Terminalia mantle, Terminilia argentina, Mango, Sisso and Apple berry among others.
Thanking everyone who has participated in the afforestation drive, Balwant Singh, Vice-Chairman, BDA urged people to show the same spirit in taking care of these plants like their own children. “It is crucial to begin planting trees in urban and suburban areas to increase green cover and maintain the biodiversity. Buddha Jayanti Park is one of the finest assets of BDA, we’ll further improve its overall beauty and attractiveness with introduction of a host of unique amenities for visitors,” Singh added.
Aiming to transform the Buddha Jayanti Park as active play spaces for children and fitness zones for all citizens, BDA has undertaken several smart interventions. Along with the immensely successful open air fitness equipment or gym, several new facilities such as Jungle Trail, Offroad Track, Rock Seating, Shelter, Miyawaki Forest, Jungle café and Bird viewers, acupressure walkways, basketball court, dedicated kids zones, yoga lawns and mandaps, waterbodies, splash pools, etc. are being provided for people as the latest activity centres catering to all age groups.
As many as 4000 trees of various species will be planted at hill forest area in the park. The BDA has earmarked a budget of around Rs 80 lakhs crores. The DFO, Chandaka has taken up the responsibility of maintenance of these trees for three years from the date of plantation.
“We thank each and every one for their support and active participation in plantation drives. We must spare a thought for nature and our environment at least once in a day and behave responsibly to protect the God’s gift to humanity,” said Dr. Sanjeet Kumar, RCCF Bhubaneswar Circle, who is also in Additional Charge of GM, OFDC.
Among other dignitaries who participated in the afforestation drive include Vijay Amruta Kulange, Commissioner, BMC, Suryawanshi Mayur Vikas, Additional Commissioner, BMC, Soumendra Kumar Priyadarshi, Police Commissioner, Dr. Umashankar Dash, Additional Police Commissioner, Kabindra Kumar Sahoo, Secretary, BDA, Harish Chandra Nayak, Additional Commissioner (Enforcement), BDA, Biswaranjan Rath, Senior Administrative Officer, BDA, L.P. Mohapatra, Superintending Engineer, BDA.