Amid the ongoing pandemic, several states including Haryana witnessed a crisis of medical oxygen that was needed for severely ill Covid-19 patients.
To avoid such a deficit in the future, the Haryana government has announced Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme, and Oxy Van (Oxygen Forests).
About the initiatives
Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme (PVDPS)
- It is an initiative to honour all those trees which are of the age of 75 years and above and have served humanity throughout their life by producing oxygen, reducing pollution, providing shade, etc.
- For maintenance of these trees, a “pension amount” of Rs 2,500 would be given per year.
- The ‘tree pension’ shall continue to increase every year, on lines similar to the Old Age Samman Pension Scheme in the state.
- The pension shall be given to the Village panchayats and Urban Local Bodies department for the upkeep of the trees, installing plates, grilles etc.
- Atleast 2,500 such trees have been identified so far by the state government officials.
Oxy Van (Oxygen Forest)
- Under the project the pieces of land will be identified on which around 3 crore trees would be planted.
- The Oxy Vans will occupy 10 per cent of the 8 lakh hectares of land across Haryana.
- Objective: To mitigate the vehicular and industrial pollution in urban areas resulting in ‘Heat Island Effect’” and bad air quality.
- For example- Oxy Van, Panchkula will be established in Bir Ghaggar over an area of 100 acres; Oxy Van, Karnal will be established along the Old Badshahi Canal (also known as Mughal Canal).
Features of Oxy Vans
- Components: Chit Van (Forest of Beauty), Paakhi Van (Forest of Birds), Antriksh Van (Forest of Zodiac Signs), Tapo Van (Forest of Meditation), Arogya Van (Healing/herbal Forest), Neer Van (Forest of Waterfalls), Rishi Van (Sapt Rishi), Panchvati (Five Trees), Smaran Van (Forest of Memories), and Sugandh Suvaas/Sugandh Van (Forest of Fragrance).
- The Park will have an information centre and a souvenir shop, and people will be able to buy plants at subsidized rates related to their Rashi.
- An amphitheatre will be constructed where artists can perform for the entertainment of the public.
- Light and sound show will be shown to the visitors covering various aspects of this Oxy Van.
- It will be a joint venture of Haryana Forest Department, the Government of India, and the Municipal Committee, Karnal.
Kind of trees within the Oxy Vans
- Chit Van: ornamental and flowering plants like the Orchid Tree (Kachnar), Indian Laburnum (Amaltas), Pride of India, Red silk cotton tree (Semal), Indian Coral, Sita Ashok, Java Cassia, Red Gulmohar, Golden Shower, Passion Flower, etc.
- Pakhi Van: Peepal, Banyan, Pilkhan, Neem etc.
- Antriksh Van: luck-boostingplants like Flame of the Forest (Palash/Dhak), Jackfruit, Cluster Fig (Gullar), Amla, Krishan Neel, Champa, Khair, Bilwa, etc.
- Arogya Van: medicinal plants like Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Neem, Aloe Vera, Chebulic Myrobalan (Harad), Baheda, and Amla, etc.
- Sugandh Vatika: Sugadhraj, Chameli, Night Queen, Day King, Night-blooming Jasmine (Parijaat), Champa, Rose, Honeysuckle, Passiflora etc.
- Panchvati: Banyan/Barh/Bargad, Sacred Fig/Peepal, Stone Apple (Bilwa/Bil), Aonla, and Sita Ashok.
- Barh and Peepal are known as “umbrella trees” which provide food and shelter to a variety of life forms. They fight sound pollution due to their thick foliage, and are known for producing more oxygen than any other tree.
- Bilwa is associated with Lord Shiva, and its leaves and flowers are offered to Him. Its ripe pulp has medicinal value. It has liver-cleansing properties and removes even old plaque from the intestine.
- Ashok or the Sorrowless Tree is associated with Sita. Its bark is used in urinary diseases. It is ornamental and shady as well.
- As per Indian Vastu, Peepal is to be planted in the East, Barh in the West, Bilwa in the North, Aonla in the South, and Ashok in Agney (south-west) direction.