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Priya Narayanan

Hyderabad is the capital and largest city of Telangana state, occupying 250 square miles in the northern part of South India. With a population of over 6 million residents, Hyderabad is India’s fourth-most populous city. Due to its central location between the Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats, Hyderabad has become a major hub for Indian research organizations, manufacturing companies, and financial institutions. It has been ranked as India’s most livable city for five years in a row (2015-2019).

India's First Tree City Of The World

In recognition of its commitment to growing and maintaining its urban forest, Hyderabad was selected by the Arbor Day Foundation as a “Tree City of the World” in 2021. It is the only city in India with this status. According to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the civic body that oversees Hyderabad, this is a testament to the city’s “sustained and institutional efforts to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees” and its other urban and peri-urban forestry projects and commitments to building a healthy city now and for the future.

Hyderabad's Urban Forest Parks

Hyderabad’s forests are maintained by the city’s Telanganaku Haritha Haram program which aims to develop the city’s forest blocks into urban forest parks. The State of Telangana, where Hyderabad is located, plans to develop 129 forest blocks into urban forest parks, covering an area of 150,000 acres within the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority territory. The parks include the Gandharivanam Park, the Bhagyanagar Nandanavanam Deer Park and the Prasanthi Vanam Park, all of which contribute to the conservation of Hyderabad’s local biodiversity and management of its natural ecosystems.

The Hussain Sagar Living Waters Project

In a continued effort to restore the blue and green infrastructure assets of Hyderabad, Rejuvenation Action Plan reports for three waterbodies – Durgam Cheruvu, KIM’s Pond, and the Hussain Sagar Lake – have been submitted to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. In December 2020, the first-ever pilot project, the Hussain Sagar Living Waters Project, was implemented in one of the lake’s inlets. It involves ecosystem restoration in the KIM’s Pond floodplain of the lake, as well as installation of an automated, floating solid waste clean-up system that arrests and removes floating solid waste in the inlet, preventing it from reaching the lake.