Though the Baba Farid University of Health and Medical Sciences, Faridkot, continues to expand its herbal garden under a financially-assisted project of the National Medicinal Plants Board, the herbal garden is in a sorry state of affairs.
New saplings have allegedly been planted among full grown weeds and the old ones are also not being taken care of.
Even though farmers are recommended by horticulturists to first dig up big pits, fill them with manure and test the soil before planting saplings, the university has gone ahead with the planting wherever it found space.
One corner of the garden near the residential quarters of the university has full grown weeds though two workers have been employed by the authorities for its upkeep.
"The senior officials asked us not to separate the weeds from the medicinal plants as the students wanted them for their studies," said an employee.
In another part of the residential complex, many medicinal plants were planted about a year ago but they are also in a condition of neglect.
"Though the university aims to increase the area under medicinal plants to about 25 acres, it seems little is being done for the proper maintenance of these plants. The new plantation is being done in small pits instead of first digging up the area and then filling it with manure. Temporary arrangements are made for every step," said a source.
The source added that the university had adopted the project because of the financial assistance being provided by the central government but extension of the herbal garden was continuing unplanned without basic infrastructure."
Ravinder Kaur Shukla, controller of examinations, BFUHS, said, "We undertook the project because our students from the pharmacology department wanted to study medicinal plants as part of the curriculum. But, I am no longer incharge of the project."
Parveen Bansal, joint secretary of the research department of the university and incharge of the project at present, said, "We plan to expand the herbal garden and have already covered most of the area. Some land is yet to be procured for the purpose. We are paying proper attention to the garden. As far as the weed growth is concerned, it will be removed later because we have limited manpower. Plants take time to grow and we do not waste our limited resources. All the required conditions are being fulfilled."