India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar announced the implementation of the Nagar Van scheme recently. It includes plans of developing 200 urban forests in the next five years. By Kumar Shree

The Center announced the implementation of the Nagar Van scheme on Friday, June 5. The scheme aims to develop 200 urban forests across the country within the next five years. Union minister Prakash Javadekar acknowledged that there was a need to increase forest cover in such areas. The scheme was first announced in 2016, but it could not be implemented on a large scale.

 

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As per the released documents–local communities, corporates, local bodies, NGOs, etc. will be involved in the development of these forests. These urban forests will grow on any available forest land within the city, or on any piece of vacant land as offered by the local bodies. Upon establishments, these forests will be maintained by the state government, and visitors will pay visiting charges, which will then be used for maintenance of these forests.

As reported by Hindustan Times, a senior official of the environment ministry (forestry division), said, “These will be on public-private partnership (PPP) mode where fencing will be done by the government but planting, public convenience infrastructure, walkways can be done by private companies as part of their corporate social responsibility.”

 

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“It’s a collaborative approach rather than a PPP. We are expecting local people, municipal corporations and even industries both small and big to contribute. The Centre will fund a part of it. Industries can give funds to the forest department to support the project. Planting of local species will be prioritised. Forests in urban areas are most stressed. Such projects can also prevent their encroachment,” said Sanjay Kumar, director-general of forests.

Related: Explore These Mesmerising Forests That Seem Like They’ve Come Straight Out Of Fairy Tales!