Bhanjanagar: A medicinal plant garden on Saluapali Nursery premises here is in shambles due to lack of proper maintenance and support by the forest department, a report said.
The forest department, to help Ayurvedic medical practitioners get various herbs at affordable prices for preparation of medicines and sensitise the people on the use and benefits of plants, had established this garden inside the Saluapali Nursery in 2003.
The garden used to provide work to members of various forest protection committees in the area. The members of Saluapali, Kanteipali, Buduli, Purunapani and Kaliamba forest protection committees used to earn their livelihood by working in the garden. Now, they have been deprived of their livelihood as the garden is in ruins.
Members of the forest protection committees alleged that the forest department is only laying stress on development of infrastructure but not paying any attention to the revival of the garden.
The department’s apathy towards the garden has led to resentment among Vaidyas (Ayurvedic healers) and environmentalists. They have demanded the authorities to take urgent measures for revival of the garden.
There was a time when the garden was an attraction for Vaidyas and tourists. They used to visit the garden to collect herbs as well as to get an idea about various medicinal plants.
The members of Ghumusar Vaidyas Sangha also used to visit the garden to carry out research on medicinal plants.
However, with the passage of time, the forest department has turned away from the development of the garden. The forest officials changed the soil in the garden last year to plant new saplings of medicinal plants but since then they are yet to plant a single sapling.
Sulapani Satapathy, a retired forest official, said the department should take urgent steps for revival of the garden with the assistance of Ghumusar Vaidya Sangha which will help in promoting Ayurveda.