Now let’s travel 1,722 kms from Mumbai to Ludhiana, Punjab where one man has created 25 mini forests ranging from 500 sq feet to 4 acres within just two years! Meet Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer Rohit Mehra, who was named the Green Man of Ludhiana when he successfully created a vertical garden at the Ludhiana Railway station. After that he went on to create 75 vertical gardens in Punjab! “People got to know about these vertical gardens and started contacting me to convert open spaces in their properties to forests,” says the 41-year-old. Rohit says that an industrialist from Jagraon, located about 40 km from Ludhiana, called him to convert a 6,000 sq ft of plot into a forest.
“This particular industrialist was running a rice bran oil factory and the area the factory was in was extremely polluted. He wanted to counter the emissions by creating a forest in the plot,” explains Rohit.
Since, Ludhiana is a hub of industries, the pollution scenario in Ludhiana is worrisome so much that sometimes schools declare holidays for three to four days at a stretch, informs Rohit. When he received the request, Rohit did not know much about creating such forests. Hence, began his research on how to create forests in a short duration.
This is when Rohit came across the Japanese technique of Miyawaki. Broadening his knowledge base on the techniques of growing trees quickly, he also turned to ancient Indian texts like the Vrikshayurveda that outlines the concept of the ancient science of growing plants and forests. “Interestingly, this ancient text imbibed the techniques mentioned in the Miyawaki method. The soil is dug about 2.5 feet deep and is then mixed with manure made from leaves, cow dung and other kinds of compost. Even agricultural waste like stubble, rice husk etc is added to improve the fertility of the soil,” he explains.