Today the delegation of Citizens Council under the leadership of its President Shri Satish Tendulkar submitted the memorandum regarding Green City under the Smart City project implemented by the Ministry Of Housing And Urban Affairs, Govt Of India to Shri Shashidhar Kurer MD, Smart City Project.
The major focus of the meeting was promoting and planting the maximum number of trees in Belagavi as for the last 6 years no initiative was taken to plant new trees.
The important discussion took place on the subject of safeguarding existing trees while doing the infrastructure work of Smart City.
The delegates also demanded the building of new small lakes, building new bird shelters, displaying play cards focusing on the issue of saving the environment and birds.
Delegates also complain regarding the illegal chopping of trees in the city by the concerned contractors under the name of infrastructure development and also handover the proofs of the same to Mr. Kurer.
After the due discussion Shri Shashidhar Kurer, M.D. Smart City appreciated the real concern of the Citizens Council towards the environment and well being of society. He assured the delegates regarding speedy action and planting trees drive immediately. He told the delegates to appeal to the citizens to bring the facts of cutting roadside trees to his knowledge directly. He also assured the delegates of strict action on concern contractors for chopping the trees.
He also assured that necessary instruction will be given to all the officers/units of Smart City regarding environment-friendly Green and Smart city projects and told the delegates that he will call a separate meeting of the nature lovers and environmentalists soon.
Shri satish Tendulkar, Shri Sevantilal Shah, Shri Arun Kulkarni were present.
Sir, first of all, I would like to congratulate you sir for your active participation as M.D.Smart City Belagavi and turning our city in the most advanced equipped state of the art infrastructure, which in true sense justice to the post. We are confident that under your able leadership the Portfolio you bear will touch the new skies.
Sir, as you are aware of the fact that since age-old days Belagavi is recognized for its tall age-old trees and lush green belts roadside with the greenery all around and because of the same it was earlier recognized as the “ Poor Peoples Mahabaleshwar”. But unfortunately under the name of development and urbanization, we lost its fame and natural habitat a lot. Even under the Smart City project, the major focus was given to preserving the nature and environment while infrastructure development.
The tree cover in our city is constantly under threat and is being diminished to give way for infrastructure projects. In many areas old roadside trees are axed down overnight to lay cables etc., as a result, every year our Belagavi is becoming barren land or a cement concert jungle which is alarming. While our heart might ache for the environment, most of us feel helpless when we see someone cutting down a tree.
Sir, there can still be a rethink about the way we are making our city smart. It is just a matter of conscious thought. We can still make the best of whatever spaces we have as
- Preserve the existing large trees by making them as Heritage trees tags. Don’t conveniently chop them to make way for electric cables, we need to find our way around them rather than through them.
- Keep spaces for mid-sized trees when the roads are being built. They won’t interfere with the rest of the work provided they are given just that little space and true access to the soil.
- Demarcate other regions in the city to construct urban forest.
- Plat more and more number of trees roadside as well as in institutional and industrial compounds to compensate for whatever trees are lost.
- Involve people and organizations in planting and maintaining trees.
Here we think it’s high time for all of us to act towards the Green City Project along with the Smart City.
Mission Green City Belagavi.
Sir, as you are aware of the fact that Green City is a city that is “in balance with nature,” where all forms of nature from living organisms to their habitats are highly significant components of the urban form and part of green infrastructure. In a Green City, all forms of nature are respected, maintained, and extended for the benefit of city residents. Urban nature is seen as an ideal provider of services, and a key concept for city development. Almost all types of urban spaces are host to urban nature either random (“wild”) or introduced by human decisions (e.g., trees, plantations). These areas are either actively used (e.g., meadows, grazeland, parks, gardens, urban forests, etc.) or are abandoned from their previous use (e.g., brownfields or certain wetlands and forests). Urban green infrastructure can be understood as a network of all urban natural elements either close to nature or designed green space can be a planning relevant category. The concept of urban green infrastructure is thus exemplary for strategic and integrated planning, protection, development, and management of urban nature. This requires citywide, district-based, and object-based spatial concepts.
Urban aforestation, beautification of public spaces, nature-friendly parks, pocket forests, avenue plantation, hedges and green creepers as view cutters, rooftop farming, kitchen gardens, vertical gardens, and floriculture/ tall tree nurseries are some examples of activities that can be taken up.
We earnestly request your good selves to please look into the above issues which we are confident will transform the City into a much better place to live-in giving the Citizens, Working Class, Children’s, Traders, and the Industrialists an opportunity to compete in the commercial world using the best environmental friendly infrastructure made available by the Government through your personal efforts in Belagavi City.
On behalf of “ Citizens Council” we extend our fullest support and cooperation for recognizing Belagavi as a Smart Green City. We hope you will consider this matter as the most important and urgent and do the needful for the better development of our State and nation in a true sense.