Breaking NewsBiodiversity of River Tawi Front Park under threat, cries ‘SOS’

Biodiversity of River Tawi Front Park under threat, cries ‘SOS’

Date:

It is ironical and unfortunate that amidst the celebrations of Earth Day (April 22), International Day of Biological Diversity (May 22) and World Environment Day (June 5), the environment loving and conscientious citizens of Jammu have been constrained to find an unavoidable reason to raise serious and passionate concern regarding existence, survival and future of biodiversity at River Tawi Front Park, popularly called Tawi Biodiversity Park located on the left bank of Tawi River nearer to Major Som Nath Chowk, in between the third and the fourth bridge.

Irrespective of social, political and religious affiliations, the conscience keepers of Jammu are simmering with discontent and appear well prepared to raise the issue at all levels for its conservation and growth by putting an immediate halt to all plans if any, for development of real estate on this piece of green land because of what use shall it be at the cost of life and the life giving eco-system.

The people are hopeful that the Hon'ble Lt. Governor, Shri Manoj Sinha will take cognizance of the matter and issue directions to stop this uncalled for ‘extraction of the lungs of Smart City Jammu'. It is pertinent to mention that the Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the global initiative ‘Lifestyle for the Environment – LiFE Movement' on June 05, 2022 for sustainable development, but this proposed action of the UT government goes against the , spirit and idea of the pro-environment behavior that the PM has introduced during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow in November 2021.

Prominent citizens, professionals as well as common citizens of Jammu assert that they want clean, green, beautiful and smart city Jammu, but not over the felled trunks of young and flamboyant trees, so well nurtured by management of the park and admired by the visitors.

Soon after receiving the news in the last week of January 2023 indicating possibility of transference of the Park to the Smart City Jammu, Ltd. for the purpose of real estate development, people have hoards of reasons and objections raised as to why they shouldn't be apprehensive and deeply pained by the development of this idea.

Eminent Foresters say, biodiversity developed in this park is matchless and no other park or piece of land in Jammu has preserved and developed it so well. The amount of time, energy, dedication and passion for the cause speaks about it. Spread over an area of about 3 acres, the Park has all the requisite facilities for the visitors like the parking area, public convenience for ladies and gents (toilets) and sanitary fittings, tuck shops, guard room, ticket counter, store, kitchen, baby train and other toys and equipments for amusement of children, shelter sheds, view points, water supply for drinking as well as irrigation and so on. It is going to be 7 years now, a long journey in establishing the various species of plants. The credentials include appreciation letters and written reviews from erstwhile Director Tourism, experts, teachers, scholars and various Central level and UT level administrative officers.

The Park has been covered by the media channels like BETTER INDIA 16 June 2022 (Gujarati), BETTER INDIA and INCREDIBLE INDIA 9th June 2022 (Hindi) and Park in Making posted by H.O.P.E 17 May 2022 on Facebook.

The Tawi Front Park hosts approximately 650 grown up plants and trees belonging to about 180 different species, including medicinal and aromatic varieties. A healthy, resilient and productive ecosystem has been created over the years that aided in establishment of an appealing habitat and rich biodiversity.

Management claims to have followed a strict regime for proper conditioning/health of the soil. Use of rice husk and sand has helped to increase the porosity of the soil here and regular monthly treatment with the bacterial culture developed by National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF) is being followed for enrichment of the soil. The culture is being used as pesticide as well, and no use of chemical fertilizers and synthetic weedicides is being resorted to, throughout.

One can aver that this Park is not just a piece of land that authorities are setting their eyes upon to convert it into a mass of concrete, but it is a throbbing, living creature that hosts a multiversity into it.

Visiting Birds: At present, the visiting birds in the park are hoopoes, black drango, hornbill, Magpie Robin, Rufous treepie, Mynah, Jungle babblers, sandpiper and sparrows.

Plants: To name some of the species, the Park has Chinaar, Timroo, Mahua, Rudraksh ekmukhi and another variant, Kadamb, Apple tree (Hariman 99), Chyuri, Budha coconut, Casuarina, Chiraul (Holoptelia), Acrocarpus, Maulshree, Chorisia, Starfruit (karambola), Pilkhan, Goolar, Putranjiva, Baarna (Temple tree ), Fiddleleaf fig, Kat hal (jackfruit), Reetha, Kapur, (Cinnamomum camphora), Peacock tree, Pink shower tree (Cassia javanica), Sitaphal, Chikoo, White sandalwood, Arjun, Harad, Behda, Neem, Sita-Asoka, Shami, Giloy, Parijaat, Belpatri, Mehndi, Kadi patta, Peepal, Amaltaas, Gulmohar, Jacaranda, Nurmi, Leechi, Jasmine, Rubber Plant, Bottle brush, China rose, Panjtaara, Silver oak, Shahtoot, Silk cotton tree, Bombax cieba, (Semal), Kachnar, Plumeria different types, rubra/pudica, champa, Imli, Pine, Council tree, Lasooda, Taoooou (lakoocha, monkey fruit), Fakoda, Swanjnaa, Loghaat, Palaash, Kaimbal, Kimb, Gargal, Mosambi, Lemon tree, Loocha, Garna, Desi Aamvla, Banana, Chamba, Guava, Bamboo, Alstonia, Christmas tree, Sukhchain, Thavecia, Cassia fistula, Tacoma, Ficus, Duranta, Hamelia, Jamun, Kanakchampa, Chameli, Chandni, Raat ki Raani, Din kaa raja, Moti, Morpankhi, Pencil pine, Poinsettia etc., Tulsi (three types), Aparajita, Pudina, Patharchatt, Aloe vera, Stevia, Ashwagandha, Lemongrass, Elaichi etc.

Miscellaneou Creepers include Pyrostegia venusta (orange trumpet wine), Rangoon creeper, Passiflora, Bougainvillea, Kundbel, haarshingaar, Giloy.

In the times of climate change, it is unimaginable on the part of the citizens that authorities are planning to replace a Biodiversity Park with a real estate. It is an anti development idea – totally abhorred by the civil societies and general public. Not to forget that people are looking for green spaces in the cities for a refuge.

This park hosts the Green Gold that every city will ever long for. It can add to the charm of the River Front as a jewel in the crown.

This is going to be the 8th year since the adoption of 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) by 193 countries in the UN general assembly, and as is stated by Niti Aayog that UTs and states are the key Drivers of SDGs, planning must be in tandem with the common theme articulated by honorable Prime Minister “SABKA SAATH, SABKA VIKAAS, SABKA VISHWAAS! That ensures our development strategy on the lines of 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.

Further to quote, “Goal no. 11: Sustainable Cities and communities; Goal no 13: Climate Action (Act now to stop global warming) and Goal no 15: Life on land (that includes plants and Biodiversity), authorities are requested to plan in a way to protect, merge, integrate and promote this bio-diverse part of the city, keeping in view the concerns highlighted above.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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