Grow-Trees.com has been creating water bodies to sustain the biodiversity of the eco-sensitive region
Mukteshwar’s scenic beauty is a perfect counterpoint to urban pollution and concrete jungles. Located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, and situated at an elevation of 2,285 mts above sea level, this beautiful, forested area is rich in biodiversity and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks. However, because of heavy tourist influx, environmental and habitat degradation, garbage crisis, water scarcity and climate change, Mukteshwar is losing its natural abundance. The rain cycle of this once perfectly idyllic spot has also been disrupted. Social organisation Grow-Trees.com, which has planted millions of trees across India, has been working extensively in Uttarakhand for the last five years to address these issues.
Says Bikrant Tiwary, CEO of Grow-Trees.com, “We have been busy implementing Trees+, a project that goes beyond afforestation to balance the rainfall pattern in Mukteshwar. Rain harvesting can play a critical role in not just water conservation but in controlled distribution in areas that do not get enough rainfall. We dig trenches, and pits to collect rainwater from higher altitude areas and facilitate its flow downwards so that a reliable water source can be formed. “
As far as afforestation goes, as always, there was nothing random about it as Grow-Trees.com conducted discussions with the local Gram Panchayat and Van Panchayat committees. Says Tiwary, “We leant about what kind of plant species grow in hilly terrains and how much moisture they require to thrive and proceeded accordingly. In areas where pine trees aggravate forest fires, oak trees have been planted and every sapling we plant has a specific role to play. “
Till now, Grow-Trees.com has created 32 water bodies in this region and a single pond could hold upto 20,000 litres of water and can easily sustain animals, birds, plants, and local communities.
Concludes Tiwary, ” Grow-Trees.com does not believe in simply planting trees; we also believe in putting appropriate measures in place to protect and nurture these plants so that they can grow to full maturity. These waterbodies that we have created will ensure soil moisture and help biodiversity to thrive. We hope that we will be able to restore the natural ecological balance of this region soon.”