3 Hills Around Bhubaneswar To Be Developed As Biodiversity & Ecological Parks By BDA

Bhubaneswar: Amid dwindling green cover in Odisha capital, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has decided to develop three hills in and around the city as biodiversity and ecological parks under ‘Sabuja Pahada’ project.

The horticulture wing of BDA has initiated steps for the development of Sikharchandi hilltop with its peripheral area as a biodiversity park, Bachhera hilltop at Jatni as an ecological park and Budhha hilltop as a nature park, sources said.

With stoppage of work for a water-storage facility at Sikharchandi hill following an NGT order and strong protest by locals, the development authority has now planned to develop the hilltop and its peripheral area as a biodiversity park with amenities for visitors and massive plantation to retain its green cover.

As part of the project, 10,000 saplings of indigenous varieties will be planted on the hill and its surroundings in the first phase. Tall saplings of 10 to 12 feet in height consisting of around 30 varieties have been proposed to be planted. Besides, 8,000 flowering shrubs will also be planted at some select spots.

Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) is reported to have been entrusted with the task of taking up the plantation work for which Rs 3.52 crore will be spent.

Similarly, BDA has also decided to develop Bachhera Hill Park at Jatni as an ecological park for which an area of about 30 acres has been earmarked for plantation and the creation of amenities for visitors. DFO Khurda has reportedly submitted the DPR of the project amounting to Rs 8 crore. Boundary demarcation and procurement of tall saplings have already been started.

Apart from this, the Buddha hilltop development at Buddha Jayanti Park is also under progress where the agency has completed the nature trail, cycle trek, pathway, garden lighting and water supply work. Around 4,000 saplings will be planted and maintained for three years at the site by Chandaka Wildlife Division, BDA officials said. They said Rs 80 lakh has already been sanctioned for the purpose. The plantation work will be completed by the end of the monsoon.

In-charge chief horticulturist of BDA Ashokananda Dhar was quoted by TNIE as saying that steps are being taken to complete the projects at the earliest. While plantation at Bachhera hill is being launched from Monday to revive the barren hill, plantation at Sikharchandi and Buddha hilltop parks will also be expedited.

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