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How a garbage heap became a green lung in Delhi

Once barren and neglected, the two-acre municipal land next to a railway line and jhuggi cluster in Keshavpuram has now been transformed into a lush green place with 2,500 saplings of more than 42 tree species planted there. Their numbers are likely to increase this monsoon. North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s horticulture department had started a special drive to identify such neglected sites, especially those in the middle of congested neighbourhoods, to develop them into man-made mini-forests. Unlike parks, only saplings of native trees are being planted in such forests and decorative plants, shrubs, and monoculture are being avoided. The first such forest was developed on the directions of Delhi high court in 2019 in Rajendra Nagar. Indigenous trees such as Ficus virens (pilkhan), banyan (bargad), Ficus glomerata (gular), jamun, Madhuca longifolia (mahua), neem, mango, teak (sagwan), etc can be found at this place. Officials appreciated the efforts of the local RWA for survival of 90% of the saplings.

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