The work to set up Miyawaki forest in Howrah, the first-of-its-kind by the Panchayats and Rural Development department, is in full swing.
The forest is coming up under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme at Shibgunj under Shyampur Block I in between Gadiara and Garchumuk on 1,000 square metre area. The forest will be created following the Miyawaki method. Akira Miyawaki, the famous Japanese botanist and environmentalist invented the method of setting up forests where the trees grow at a fast pace. In I square metre area, at least three to five saplings are planted.
The making of the forest which is a pilot project began on October 17 and it will continue till October 26. Representatives from 12 districts have joined the workshop which was inaugurated at the office of the Block Development Officer (BDO) on October 17. The Additional District Magistrate along with senior officials of the Howrah district administration, state Forest department and Panchayats and Rural Development departments were present at the inaugural function. Representatives from 12 districts are being provided with theoretical and practical training on setting up the forest.
The Panchayats and Rural Development department has collaborated with an NGO to erect the forest. A total of 3,200 saplings spanning over 39 varieties will be planted in 10 days. Mukta Arya, District Magistrate of Howrah, also joined the training programme. After Howrah, Miyawaki forests will come up in North Dinajpur, Malda, Murshidabad, South 24-Parganas, Purulia, Bankura, East and West Burdwan, Jhargram, West Midnapore, Birbhum and Hooghly.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has stressed on increasing the forest cover as part of the drive to conserve the environment. Accordingly, the Panchayats and Rural development department has asked all the Gram Panchayats to take measures to conserve environment and water.