Chhattisgarh: Abandoned Durg mine to be site of India's biggest man-made forest

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Durg, Jul 18 (PTI) India's biggest man-made forest will come up on 885 acres of land in a mined out area over the next three years at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore in Chhattisgarh's Durg district, officials said on Sunday.

The project, which will come up at the abandoned Nandini limestone site under the supervision of the district administration, will present an example to the world as to how mined out areas can be converted into natural habitats, they said.

'The project is being carried out on the direction of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The mine used to supply limestone to SAIL's Bhilai Steel Plant but has been lying abandoned for the last few years. Forest cover in the Nandini area used to be around 17 kilometres before mining started. Now 80,000 trees will be planted on 885 acres of land. Funds will come from the District Mineral Foundation,' a state government public relations department official said.

'With this, the forest cover in the area will increase to 2,500 acres. It will prove to be a suitable habitat for migratory and resident birds as well as offer the experience of eco-tourism. Work on it will start soon. The area has a big wetland where birds like whistling duck and openbill stork have been sighted. The area around the lake will be developed for bird breeding,' said Dhammshil Ganveer, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Durg division. PTI COR TKP BNM BNM BNM

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