MCD to develop city’s first Xeriscape garden--dry landscape park in E Delhi
Xeriscaping is designed specifically for drought-prone areas or areas where water conservation is practised
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will develop the Capital’s first Xeriscape garden — a themed garden featuring dry desert-like landscaping — in east Delhi, showcasing a selection of plant species that require minimal water and low maintenance, officials involved with the project said on Tuesday. They said the theme park will be built near the Desh Bandhu apartments in Patparganj and is expected to open in February next year.
Xeriscaping is designed specifically for drought-prone areas or areas where water conservation is practised. The term is derived from the Greek word “xeros,” which means dry, and Xeriscaping means “dry landscape.” The theme is promoted in regions where freshwater is not easily accessible, plentiful, or reliable and where irrigation water is scarce.
According to a senior MCD official, the park will feature unique water-conserving landscaping themes using rocks and pebbles, as well as plant galleries of various Cactii species, succulents, agave, various types of aloes, and drought-resistant plants capable of surviving in dry environment. The central government is funding the project through the Amrut scheme (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), and the civic body expects to spend ₹53,00,000, disbursed by the Centre, on park development in the first phase. According to officials, MCD has already invited bids for the project, and the bidding process is expected to be completed by September 14.
Xeriscaping originated in the western United States in 1980 when landscapers from California sought to create gardens that were less dependent on irrigation while maintaining aesthetic value. “House lawns practise Xeriscaping on a smaller scale. The theme park in Patparganj will be divided into sections that will showcase various arid regions such as Aravalli ecosystem and Thar desert. We got the idea from a park in Chandigarh,” said the senior MCD official cited above.
The plants commonly used in xeriscaping are xerophytes in nature, meaning they can survive in areas with limited water. “Such parks require minimal fertilisers and maintenance equipment. Water usage is less than 60-70% of what is used in typical parks. They ensure that rough, unkempt areas are given a facelift through the creative use of pebbles, rocks, and other garden features that provide a pleasant landscape view,” the official added.
Water scarcity continues to be a significant challenge for the horticulture department, which oversees 15,226 parks spread across 5,172 acres. Around 1,022 parks are larger than one acre, with the remainder being smaller. MCD already operates 32 smaller sewage treatment plants, which are used to irrigate 3% of the civic body’s park areas, with the rest irrigated by tankers and borewells. Groundwater use is being reduced in response to National Green Tribunal orders in February 2021.