The state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim will plant saplings at New Town on Thursday to mark the beginning of the week-long Bono Mahotsav festival.
The state Forest department will plant 40,000 saplings in New Town. Ten thousand pits have been dug and they will require two days of rain to fill up, after which planting of saplings on a massive scale will begin from July 25.
Neem, tentul and other varieties of trees will be planted all over New Town, which will soon become a ‘green city’.
The West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (WBHIDCO) has rented out land along the canal to set up nurseries. Tall trees will be planted on all roads.
New Town came up after filling up water bodies and felling of thousands of trees. Housing complexes came up and the main road – now known as Biswa Banga Sarani – connecting sector V with VIP Road was constructed during the Left Front regime. But no concrete plans were taken to plant saplings and give the newly developed city a green cover.
There was not a single tree on the main road till five years ago. Environmentalists had requested the then Left Front government to plant saplings in the township to maintain ecological balance. But their requests failed to evoke even a lukewarm response.
The situation, however, changed with the change of guard in 2011. After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave special attention to develop the area. The huge water body,
covering 100-odd acres, was properly utilised and on its bank Prakriti Tirtha, popularly known as Eco Park, was set up.
The park is unique and has recorded a footfall of over 50 lakh since its inception. New Town is a classic example of balance between nature and development. HIDCO is allotting 10 per cent more floor area ratio (FAR) to builders ready to set up ‘green buildings’. These buildings will have rain and waste water harvesting structures and solar panels.