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An unused land strip to be developed into ‘Valley of Flowers’

Udaipur : A 3.4 km long strip of land, lying unutilized for nearly 2 years on the panoramic location of Chirwa Ghat along NH-8 would soon be turned into a valley of flowers. With a budget of 160 lakh rupees recently sanctioned from the Ministry of Forest and Environment under the CAMPA Yojana, the state forest department has embarked on the project ‘Phoolon-Ki-Ghati’ which is estimated to be completed in six months.  Four flower valleys were  proposed in Rajasthan to be developed under the CAMPA fund and Udaipur has taken lead in  implementation.

Under the project, 80 hectares of area falling in the ghat section would be covered with flowering plants under the urban forestry scheme (Nagar Van Udyan). With the development of the flower valley, Chirwa section would turn into a tourist circuit connected with the Mewar Biodiversity Park and Purohiton-ka-Talaab situated in the vicinity, OmPrakash Sharma, the project incharge and Deputy Conservator of Forest told TOI. Apart from the central fund, 20% of the cost would be given by state government.

Chirva road had been the main gateway to Udaipur for commuters from Nathdwara. The ghat section which is narrow, twisty and curvy offers a breathtaking view of natural forest and Aravali hills specially during the monsoon season. It had a fearsome reputation owing to the large number of accidents and hours long  traffic jams. However, with the new four lane road with twin tunnels operational last year, the old road had been abandoned and lying useless since. “ We thought of utilizing the wasteland for aesthetic as well as environmental purpose. Under the program, we would undertake massive plantation of 10,000 indigenous flowering plants in six months, it may take two-three years for the valley to bloom with colors” Sharma said. Beside plantation, the forest department would also take up restoration work at the Heritage gate on the Ghat. A cafeteria would be built near the gate with amenities and facilities for the visitors.

“It will be a complete project focusing on technical details like soil moisture conservation, percolation, check dams etc to maintain the greenery throughout the year. The forest protection committee would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of area and to generate revenue adventure sports and other activities would be planned” the officer said. Six view points have been identified on the ghat for the visitors to enjoy the beautiful location during their trip.  Benches and shades would be installed. A watch tower is also proposed.

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