The government nursery here, run by the horticulture department, is in a state of neglect and has little to offer when compared to some private nurseries in the area.
The maintenance of the nursery is not up to the mark and proper care of saplings of plants is also lacking. As far as irrigation facility is concerned, tubewell water is being used against the recommendations of experts that nurseries and gardens should be irrigated with canal water only. Tubewell water in most cases is not suitable for irrigation of fruit plants.
“Earlier, canal water used to reach the nursery through a channel but, with the passage of time, the channel was blocked due to encroachments in the area and the nursery was left to survive on tubewell water only,” said a source.
The nursery has saplings of citrus fruit plants, jamuns, ber, guava and a few other trees.
A large screen house, built in the nursery, further describes the apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned. Though horticulture officials claimed that it was meant to plant mother plants, that are used to graft other plants, yet it has failed to serve the purpose the screen house was set up. Not many mother plats have been grown so far.
”The screen house was constructed many years ago, but has never been used for the purpose it was meant for. It rather looks deserted,” said a local.
“Most of the people, who want to grow fruit trees either in orchards or other tracts, prefer to visit private nurseries to buy saplings as they do not get those plants here which they want to grow. The mushrooming of private nurseries corroborates the fact the government nursery has little to offer to the people.
The money being spent by the government on its maintenance is serving no purpose as it does not cater to the needs of horticulturists in the area. It is far behind private nurseries and the required saplings are not available most of the time,” said Rupinder Singh, a farmer from Faridkot village.
Besides, the growth of wild weeds tells the tale of the apathetic attitude of the horticultural department, supposed to take care of it. The nursery has its main gate off the road behind the official residences and most the people fail to get notice of the nursery. “While private nurseries have saplings on display on the front, the government nursery has its gate backside of it and the front has been covered by a barbed wire. The wild growth of the weeds makes the nursery look like a deserted place,” said a local.
“The main problem for us is canal water for the nursery. We are going to plant about 15 mother plants in the screen house, meant to protect them from diseases and insects. We have now got funds and in two months, we will change the whole picture here,” said Resham Singh, deputy director, horticulture. “However, we are serving a large area by making available many kinds of saplings at very cheap rates. Plants are also being provided under some special schemes,” he added.