The Telegraph
Saturday , January 11 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Flying to capital? Get a green carpet welcome

Fliers to Ranchi may fall in love with the city at first sight.

Jharkhand’s forest department wants Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi to not only offer fliers soothing visuals of a green canopy, it also wants to welcome arrivals with a tree-lined 10km drive from the airport to Ratu Road via Hinoo and Birsa chowks and Argora.

Everyone who has flown to Mumbai knows painfully well how important first and last impressions of a city are. Fliers while landing in the megapolis or while taking off get a bird’s-eye view of the slums.

According to the Ranchi division of the state forest department, work on greening and landscape gardening of the 10km stretch from the airport — in the first phase — may kick off by February, if the department and Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) say yes.

According to department officials, the proposal is estimated to cost between Rs 55-60 lakh.

Assistant conservator of forests Parvesh Aggarwal confirmed the plans but said they were waiting for a final nod from the department after which they would approach Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) to seek clearance.

“The RMC’s consent is needed because the areas, including roundabouts, fall under its jurisdiction. The success of the project will depend on how responsive RMC is. At times, they don’t give consent citing their own projects such as creation of drains and road widening,” he said.

On the project, a Ranchi division forest official said: “We want to spread out a green carpets on both sides of the road running adjacent to airport till Ratu Road, also one of the high-profile areas. Wherever possible, we also intend to install benches, small fenced lawns and various perennial plants like small variants of the Ashok species.”

Aggarwal explained why they wanted the beautification drive.

“Ranchi’s exposure to the world has grown of late. Many high-profile personalities from other states or abroad come to our city for meetings, sporting events. We want our city to leave a good impression. Also, more greening means more fresh air and solace for the eyes,” he said.

This stretch apart, beautification plans have been prepared for areas in Morabadi, near Jharkhand High Court and Ranchi-Hatia Road.

“In Morabadi, we are already working on a park at a run-down archery grounds on a priority basis. This apart, on roadsides, benches are being planned so that morning walkers and commoners can use them. For Ranchi-Hatia stretch, beautification and landscaping will take place,” the official added.

Which Indian city has the best view from the airport?