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Posted at: Sep 16, 2019, 6:39 AM; last updated: Sep 16, 2019, 6:39 AM (IST)

Nanak vans — A tribute by ‘green man’

Nanak vans — A tribute by ‘green man’
Rohit Mehra (c) with volunteers at a micro-jungle created by him on the basis of Vriksha Ayurveda in Amritsar. tribune photo

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15

Indian Revenue Service officer Rohit Mehra has found a unique way to do his bit for the 550th Parkash Utsav to be celebrated in November.

Mehra has earned sobriquet of the “green man” for his contribution towards increasing the green cover of the state. He is now looking at raising awareness among the Sikh devotees to start creating “micro-jungles” (patches of dense tree growth) across the state, as an ode to the founder of Sikhism.

After setting up vertical gardens at major public places in Ludhiana and Amritsar, Mehra is extablishing a series of green patches, called “Nanak vans”. Unlike the Nanak Bagechi being promoted by the Punjab Government as part of the celebrations, Mehra’s “vans” are being set up as a people’s movement with the use of agriculture waste to turn the soil fertile.

“We are using varieties that grow fast and are dense, by using the techniques described in Vriksha Ayurveda. Whatever agriculture waste we get in the vicinity of the land available to us for growing the small forest (2,000 to 6,000 sq ft), is used to fertilise the soil where saplings are planted,” he says.

One such “van” has been set up by him in Jagraon in the vicinity of a rice husk refinery, where biomass and rice husk waste was first used to make the soil fertile, and then trees that complement each other were grown (neem, bargad and peepal). Three similar patches have been set up at Zira and Bholath, two in Ludhiana, one in vicinity of Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib and the other on the city outskirts.

“Appeals are being made in gurdwaras, seeking saplings as donations and people were coming forward.” Rohit has also tied up with the CII for setting up ‘Nanak vans’ at three other places. Mehra says he intends to create 1,000 such micro-jungles in Punjab.

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