Hyderabad: Do you know that there is a city in this country that has not one or two, but an amazing 22 urban forest parks covering over 5,500 hectares, all this within a radius of around 50 km? That, for your information, is our own Hyderabad, which is one among the very few cities in India that are blessed with such green lung spaces. Far enough from the hustle-bustle of the city, devoid of pollution, citizens can rejoice, recreate and rejuvenate in nature’s lap in these parks.
Each of these parks is developed in a way to offer some adventurous and exciting experiences for the visitors. For instance, if you want to stay overnight and camp in a forest park, head to the Masjidgadda Jungle Camp. Or, if your preference is for some adventure and fun, try out Kalpaka Vanam. You can experience nature through some hiking and trekking path ranging from one to six kilometres at the Narsapur urban forest park. Offering diverse recreation options amidst rich green cover and pleasant ambience, the Forest Department has developed urban forest parks in the Hyderabad Metropolitan area.
All the parks have been developed in a radius of about 50 km from the city and yet not many are aware of these beautiful and well maintained green lung spaces. Catering to all age groups, these parks offer multiple facilities such as yoga platforms, watch towers, canopy walks, walking tracks, nature classrooms, selfie points, overnight stay in tents and camps and what not.
For people residing near these parks, they are a blessing in disguise. Apart from the luxury of walking in lush green spaces and tracks, they also have the option of picnics every weekend. “Hitherto, except for the deer park at Vanasthalipuram, there was no weekend getaway. Since the launch of the Sanjeevani Park, Gurramguda, my family enjoys a picnic every weekend,” says M Shivaprasad, a resident ofInjapur.
Reserve Forest Blocksbeing developed by Forest Dept
There are 517 Reserve Forest Blocks and of these 194 fall in the Hyderabad Metropolitan area covering around 64,000 hectares. Some of the reserve forest blocks are contiguous and grouped into 129 clusters for protection and demarcation of boundaries.
The Forest Department is focusing on the need to conserve these forest blocks and is taking up several initiatives involving people and other departments as well. A three-pronged strategy is being adopted for management.
To begin with, based on the distance from habitations, highways and radial roads, 59 clusters have been identified for development as urban forest parks. These blocks are being categorised into conservation and zisitors zones, which cover 10 per cent of the forest cluster area.
In Conservation blocks, which are far from habitations, focus is on forest conservation works. Around 70 clusters are proposed to be developed as conservation blocks and in the future, they will be developed as urban forest parks. Apart from conservation and urban forestry, all measures are being taken to develop potential blocks as eco-tourism facilities.