Traditional Forests to be recreated by transforming barren and fallow land

2023.12.17 (Vrindavan Today News): The Uttar Pradesh Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad (UPBTVP) has been making significant efforts to enhance religious tourism in Braj, particularly in Mathura District. One of such initiative is recreating traditional forest areas. The plan involves transforming suitable barren and fallow land into traditional forest areas to enrich the natural heritage in Braj, creating a sense of antiquity for visitors.

The Forest Department in the district owns 1403.22 hectares of reserved forests. Additionally, under 10 development blocks across forest areas and village councils, there are 5431 hectares of barren and fallow land. Many of these areas lack greenery, comprising either barren, vegetation-free, fallow, or rocky terrains of the Aravalli mountain range. While some areas have sparse vegetation, most consist of Prosopis juliflora (Bilaiti Babool) bushes. Despite this, due to their proximity to the religious and mythological sites of Shri Krishna’s legends, these areas hold immense tourism potential for the local community.

Forest of Braj

The UPBTVP aims to revitalize these unused forest areas, intending to make the land arable. The proposal suggests planting traditional flora and good- quality plants to establish a new chain of traditional forest areas in Braj. This proposal has been forwarded to the government for approval.

There seems to be an apparent discontinuation in the involvement of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in tree plantation activities since the annulment of previous orders in February 2014. However, private efforts are anticipated to facilitate easier implementation.

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Many devotees, local intellectuals, religious organizations, and philanthropic institutions in Mathura district are eager to contribute their financial resources and labor for tree plantation at these neglected sites. They consistently reach out to the UP Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad (UPBTVP) for collaboration in planting trees at these locations. The government has been apprised of all these details to issue appropriate direction.

The initiative aims to cultivate the land, fostering lush greenery and fostering collaboration with religious and social institutions. This collaborative effort seeks to bring these forgotten areas back to life, creating a significant impact on religious tourism while also preserving the natural heritage of the region.

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