Yet another Oxy-Zone in the making at Bhilai

Central Chronicle News
Bhilai, Feb 28: Not far from the steel plant, an area earmarked by SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant is fast being developed as yet another oxy-zone in Bhilai to offer plentiful oxygen to the population residing in surrounding areas.
SAIL-BSP that has a history of transforming barren lands to lush green areas as part of its commitment to save and sustain the environment is planting large number of trees in Station Maroda, Umarpoti and Newai area, in association with Van Vikas Nigam. The plantation area has been developed with sources of water, water bodies like ponds, reservoirs and proper fenced boundaries to avoid trespassing.
Newai Zone I, II and III were barren lands. The land was given to Chhattisgarh Van Vikas Nigam for a period of 4 years to plant trees and hand it back to SAIL-BSP after the contract period is over & when 80 % of the plantation is in a sustainable state.
Spread over 39 hectares, the plantation in these areas were planned such that approx. 97,500 saplings were planted since 2018. There are now close to 40,000 trees growing in Newai I, 10,000 trees in Newai II and 47,500 trees in Newai III.
In contrast to what an aerial image would have shown way back in 1950s, Bhilai township and areas in its vicinity is now a green carpet and visual treat to the eyes of any visitor. Thanks to the vision of early planners of the township, concerted efforts of the Plant’s Town Services Dept and other agencies and a green-fingered population, the green canopy of trees along Central Avenue, other major roads of the steel city including Forest Avenue, the 6 Tree Avenue and numerous trees along side streets in the different residential sectors offer cool breeze, oxygen, shade and a green cover to Bhilai. So does the sprawling Maitri Bagh with its dense plantation and water bodies and the 15 odd parks in the township.
Each year, BSP undertakes plantation drives not just has in the Township, but also in its surrounding areas and at its captive mines in Dalli-Rajhara. Besides, saplings are distributed to employees each year free of cost and employees of SAIL-BSP and their family members are motivated to plant saplings and nurture plants in their neighbourhood on occasions such as Van Mahotsav, HareliJagar, World Environment Day etc. School children are also encouraged to plant saplings as part of Eco Club activities, Dignitaries and official visitors to BSP often plant saplings in the Plant and Township & Mines. Plants are also gifted to visitors as a memento at different events.
Saplings are also planted by SAIL-BSP as part of its environment conservation and CSR initiatives, besides interventions by Horticulture department of BSP. In fact, the Plant not just endeavours to make its township clean and green, it also arranges for mass plantation in nearby areas through Chhattisgarh Van Vikas Nigam, earmarking funds for the same.
The Newai plantations and massive roadside plantation alongside state roads in the region is an example. The Town Services Dept is also arranging for plantations in Sector 04 and Sector 05 through Van Vikas Nigam.
Fruits, medicines, woody and flowering plants of over 20 varieties have been meticulously planted in Newai I, II and III. Kechnar, Karanch, Shishu, Acacia Kesia, Ketha, Imli, Aam, Amla, Gulmohar, Jamun, and Guauva, Kaner trees now add to the green cover of Newai, offering, frutis, flowers, shade and herbs.
Timely irrigation, nutrition, spraying of insecticides and replenishing casualties each year are done by Van Vikas Nigam. Ranger Shri Nishant Singh Thakur, Fieldman AnshikaGolhani and a handful of employees of Van Vikas Nigam along with a large number of chowkidars keep a 24 hour vigil on the growing plants.
We are blessed with sense of serenity and natural cooling in the plantation area, says Nishant Singh, adding that SAIL-BSP is fully involved in the plantation activities. Adherence to silviculture, forestry rules and time bound activities like giving water and nutrients to the plants and close cooperation and supervision from BSP officials including Shri P K Ghosh, CGM (TSD), Shri G K Dubey, GM (Hort. & PHD), Dr N K Jain, Shri V K Garg, Mgr. (TSD) and their team ensure that the plantation remains healthy in the Industrial area, Bhilai, says Ranger Nishant Singh.
Fieldman Ms Golhani shares that one gets satisfaction and a fulfilment to see plants nurtured by us grow into trees. Pits of 45 x 45 X 45 cm were dug, 50 % soil from the nursery was used while remaining 50% of material was mixed using black soil, cowdung, vermicompost and NPK. Around 70 labourers were hired to take care of the plants during rainy season. This is followed up by de-weeding, removal of grass in three stages of 21 days each.
From giving proper nutrition like DAP (Diammonium phosphate) and NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorous, Potassium) which aid in proper photosynthesis and plant growth, arranging for submersible pumps for drip irrigation and other modes to water the plants, undertaking grass cutting after monsoons, protecting the plants from fire-hazards etc., these persons are the caretakers of this oxy-zone.
SAIL-BSP has not just spread greenery in the periphery of Bhilai, but its green measures are lending a canopy to Dalli-Rajhara too. Around 15000 trees have been planted in Dalli-Rajhara Township in 2019 while 12,500 trees were planted in Mining sites of Dalli-Rajhara in 2020.
Be it planning, funding, supervision, monitoring and follow-up, SAIL-BSP is working with full zeal to make the area in and around Bhilai clean and green, paving the way for a sustainable environment for the next generation-Bhilaians.

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