Monday, May 26, 2014

Update on the Arekere Forest meeting and discussions

The Resident – Arekere Forest Officials meeting on 24th May 2014 as previously announced went well. It was well attended by about 50 to 60 residents of the neighborhood.

Residents were invited to voice their opinions on what they wanted the Reserve Forest to be and how they in turn could help the Forest Department (FD).

The suggestions coming forth from the residents were as follows:
  • ·       That the place should be well secured from all sides to prevent encroachments.
o   FD's answer: No encroachments will be allowed.
  • ·         More vigilance for the safety of walkers.
  • ·         That there should be more lights and sitting benches.
o   FD: Yes for more benches.
  • ·         There should be toilets for public.
  • ·         Walking path all around the inner periphery of the Reserve.
  • ·         Should make it a good biodiversity area by growing indigenous plants and trees.
  • ·         Should try to install bird nesting boxes
  Staff of FD made notes of all that was suggested.

  Next Steps
1.       Residents of the area should come together to clean the place of plastic waste.
2.       Perhaps focus group to be formed to address different aspects as:
a.       Water related issues.
b.      Regeneration of Native species of plants, bushes and trees.
c.       General upkeep of the place.
d.      Amenities related matters, etc.
3.       From the Forest Dept side Mr. Hariprasad who is a Forest Dept staff was deputed by the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) to be the coordinator of all future initiatives.

At the end of the discussions the CCF suggested that a group be formed to take this forward, and thus 12 (6 from ladies and 6 from men) person's names have been included in the informal group.

It was also pointed out by the FD official that it is a Forest Reserve and hence it was not realistic to expect all the amenities that are  normally found in a public parks or gardens.

Previous communication on this can be seen here.


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