oday, the definition of development is primarily centred around concrete and buildings rather than greenery. In fact, the rapid scale of urbanisation witnessed in metros have degraded the air quality and temperature in these cities.
Aiding the government with its goal of increasing green cover by 33 percent are different non-profit organisations (NGOs). One of them is Green Yatra that aims to plant 10 crore trees in India. It is presently working in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Pune. Led by Pradeep Tripathi, Green Yatra uses an innovative Japanese method called ‘Miyawaki technique’, which allows more trees to grow on a small patch of land. With no space among the trees planted, sunlight is blocked from falling on the ground and this stops the growing of weeds.
he Miyawaki method helps to create a forest in just 20 to 30 years, while conventional methods take anywhere between 200 to 300 years. This technique helps us to plant a variety of trees in the same piece of land. We also plant trees native to a region, so that these trees don’t require much maintenance with no aid of chemicals or artificial fertilisers.
The team stumbled upon this method of plantation when they wanted to plant 3,000 trees, of 30 native species, on one kilometre stretch of land, at the Central Railside Warehouse Company (CRWC), Jogeshwari East, Mumbai.
When I plant four-six feet of sapling, it will take them three-four years to be of 20 feet of height. With this technique, two-three feet of sapling will grow to 15-20 feet tall tree in just two years.
According to Tripathi, the saplings require only two years of maintenance and no care after that. The method also helps the forest to grow ten times faster, absorb a high amount of carbon-dioxide amount and reduce noise and dust pollution.
Speaking about his team’s efforts with Asian Age, Tripathi said,
Under this technique, you dig a three feet deep trench for plantation. But at this site, we dug a trench of up to five feet, as there was no mud but debris. We removed the debris and poured 1000 tonnes of soil from outside.
Using bamboo sticks, mulching was done on the ground and covered with dry grass. This helps the ground to retain moisture content and prevent evaporation of water. This process later helps in the growth of microorganisms, which improves the yield and quality of the crop.Prior to planting saplings in a multi-layer format, the soil was mixed with husk, which enabled it to work as a water perforator for porousness. In addition, hay and coco peat were added, which works as a water retainer with manure. The NGO planted 45 saplings in about 150 sq ft, where only one sapling, earlier, could be planted.