Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao wants all the forest blocks in and around the cities be developed into Urban Forest Parks (UFP) under the Telanganaku Haritha Haram program. These Urban Forest Parks will not only provide the wholesome healthy living environment but also contribute to the growth of smart, clean, green, sustainable and healthy cities in the State.
According Forest department officials, focus was given to develop all the forest blocks in and around the capital city into Urban Forest Parks. There are 193 Forest Blocks, having nearly 58,000 Hectare area within the HMDA and GHMC limits. Initially, the Forest blocks falling under Outer Ring Road (ORR) are being developed and later Forest Blocks falling within 5 Km from the ORR will be developed later. It was decided that the Forest blocks falling within 10 Km from ORR shall be taken up for developing into Urban Forest Parks and 16 Forest blocks have been taken up for developing them into Urban Forest Parks so far out of which six Urban Forest Parks have been opened for public. However, 36 Forest blocks, with an area of 17,410 Hectare have been taken up for developing into Urban Forest Parks.
In order to develop a Forest block into Urban Forest Park, the Forest Department will take measures like providing complete protection through boundary wall, see-through wall, fencing or peripheral trench; Developing greenery inside the park through plantations or other cultural operations under Assisted Natural Regeneration; develop inspection paths, walking trail, cycle trail, fire lines and so on; Creation of watch tower, canopy walk, deer park, aviary and so on; Promotion of adventurous sports activities and Creation of public amenities, including open gym etc.
“There will be entry fee for the developed park and the revenue earned from the Gate fee and other sources will be utilized for maintenance and further development of the park. These parks are mainly being used by morning walkers, day visitors, school children and student community. These parks are providing lung spaces for the city dwellers and a great recreational facility during the week ends. These parks will not only provide the required oxygen to the city dwellers but will also play a vital role in the preservation and conservation of local bio-diversity and help maintain ecological balance. The parks will also help in percolation of rain water and helping in maintaining the under-ground water regime. The State Government was providing funds under Afforestation Scheme to develop these parks and spent Rs 17.42 crore so far’, the Forest Department stated.