Vizagites, now, have a reason to smile. The entire greenery lost in the 2014 Hudhud super cyclone has recovered much before the southwest monsoon had set in over Kerala early this week. Considering the growing pollution caused by the industries, the increase in forest cover and greenery in the city comes as good news to the people.
Currently, all the hills on Eastern Ghats, abutting the city, are a sight of picturesque green. Unlike any other city in India, Vizag is endowed with 1700 acres of thick reserve forest in Kambalakonda, and 600 acres in Seetha Konda, where Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is located.
“With nature's blessings and little human intervention, the entire city has recovered its lost green cover,'' an elated chief conservator of forests N Prateep Kumar said. Speaking to The Hans India here on Friday, the conservator said entire district of Visakhapatnam has good forest cover and it is growing every year due to the increased awareness among the people.
The district has 11, 16,100 hectares of geographical area and the notified forest comprises 4, 70,800 hectares of forest which amounts to 42 per cent. Since afforestation is a huge task, the department has taken up aerial seeding last year and the results are being assessed.
Around 40 tonnes of seed was cast all over the district with the voluntary help of Indian Navy, which supplied their helicopter. Gliricidia, tamarind, Subabul and Babool seeds were cast last year. “This year, we are taking up massive plantation drive and plan to cast 1,000 tonnes though Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu wanted one lakh seeds to be cast.
Since the Indian Naval helicopters are busy in MALABAR-16 exercise in Pacific Ocean, the State government is floating tenders for hiring private helicopters,'' the CFO said. The CFO had a meeting with the senior naval officials on Friday.
Aerial seeding would be taken up for the entire State and it was decided to cast 3,000 tonnes of seed this monsoon season of which 1,000 tonnes would be used exclusively for Visakhapatnam. Around 28 varieties of seeds would be planted, which include Hill Mango and Maddi.