Chattisgarh is on its way to accomplishing an action plan to develop the nation’s largest man-made forest on a vast area, mostly the abandoned and non-functional mining belt, at Nandini in Durg district, about 55 km from Raipur.
So far 1120 acres in the region have been transformed into a forest. This year, over 83 thousand saplings of around 30 different species, including medicinal, were planted under the special drive in 895 acres by the state forest department. The area will be transformed into an open jungle safari, similar to the ones found in Africa.
When the lease of the mines ends in another five years, the main mining area will be converted into a huge deep water body that will become a mainstay of the man-made forest.
During his inspection, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also planted a banyan plant as a symbolic gesture under the Jan Van programme here. The entire cost of the project cited to be Rs 3.37 crore.
The Rs 3.37 crore project aims to convert the entire tract, once available, into a mega man-made forest with orchards, bird habitat and ecotourism elements. “We are aspiring it to become the largest man-made forest in the country. The forest will take actual shape in about another ten years,” the collector added.
Owing to the excavated sites of the mines, which usually were of dolomite-limestones, huge water reservoirs are created inside the forest. Besides the area also serves as the ideal habitat for birds owing to the massive wetland present in the region. The migratory birds from the Eurosiberiman region were also spotted here.