From children to senior citizens, 80 residents of a housing society in Mumbai came together to recreate a garden which was lost when a drainage channel flowing along the building compound was widened.
Several areas in Mumbai are prone to floods post-monsoon. To reduce the flooding, the municipal government decided to widen sewage channels on Poisar River. Unfortunately, the garden located along the river has had to pay a heavy price due to desilting work and widening of channels and has lost close to 60 full-grown trees since 2014.
The residents of Tirupati Towers in Kandivali observed this and decided to do something about it. They joined hands in December 2017, and have successfully recreated a garden measuring 10,000 sq. ft. along the river.
Venkatraman Chandramouli, 70, resident and former Executive Director, Air India, spearheaded this initiative.
Speaking to HT, he said, “The idea was to bring back the lost beauty of this garden and have a protected green space for our future generations. Planting trees along the banks of this polluted river not only reduces the stench but also helps reduce our carbon footprint as a housing society.”
Subhajit Mukherjee, an environmentalist, helped the residents survey the area and give some valuable advice.
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The garden currently has 120 trees. Additionally, a 1,500 sq. ft. area is reserved as a kitchen garden, where vegetables such as brinjal, radish, ladyfinger, chillies, tomatoes, spinach etc., are being grown since 2015. The residents plan to plant another 300 trees in the compound.
Pradeep Keshwani, who is a member of the managing committee in Tirupati Towers and president of NGO Citizens’ Right Protection Committee said, “Our efforts are aimed at protecting the biodiversity of this area, which was home to countless birds, butterflies, and squirrels. Their habitat was lost after trees were destroyed, but now they have automatically started returning, and the area will be restored completely within a few months.”