MP department of forest will set up a biodiversity park near Salikala village in Rajpur sub-division to save diminishing plant species in the western Nimar region. The seven-phase scheme will be completed in 2022.
Salikala comes under Sendhwa forest division where the department will establish a ‘Biodiversity Park’ in compartment number 715 under the extension forestry scheme of MP government.
“While we have to follow the prescribed working plan in regular forestry, we can do experiments through extension forestry scheme, which will benefit and mobilize the masses,” said DFO (Sendhwa) Ajay Kumar Pandey.
Pandey said, “The source of inspiration to establish the park is the ‘10 year working plan’ text by CCF Khandwa, Dr Pankaj Shrivastav, in which I found hundreds of plant species missing from the region due to multiple increase in biotic pressure like illicit felling, encroachment, soil erosion and fire, animal grazing and trampling.
“We identified species of 35 large-sized trees, 32 medium-sized trees, 41 small-sized trees, 21 herbs, 27 shrubs and 16 climbers which were abundant, but are diminishing nowadays. Hence, the department decided to find the extinct species and established a park in the 10 hectare-area near Salikala,” he added.
In the first phase, 104 large, medium and small species of plants were selected and we have succeeded in finding more than 50% of them from departmental R&E (research and extension) wings of Khandwa and Indore, where plants from Burhanpur, Khandwa, Barwani,
Indore, Dhar, Jhabua and Alirajpur districts are collected. The department has planted more than 6,500 plants in the park till date, he added.
“In a few years, the seeds will be collected from these plants and in the next six phases up to 2022, other species of herbs, shrubs and climbers will also be searched with the help of farmers, forest staff, local people and joint forest management committee (JMFC). We are having 50 more hectares of land to extend the project for this,” he said.
This will prove to be a rich gene bank because seeds and plants of the region will propagate in its natural instinct, he said. The park will also come of help to forest staff, recruits, nature lovers and students, besides being useful for naturopathy.