Governor inaugurates Shrine Board’s Nursery at Kunia.
Governor N. N. Vohra, Chairman of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, inaugurated the hi-Tech Nursery established by the Shrine Board at Kunia, Panthal.
This Nursery, with its various specialized components, has been established at an expenditure of over Rs. 4.27 crore to rear indigenous species of plants, compatible with the local climatic conditions, for greening the Trikuta Hills.
The Governor inspected the different wings of the Nursery which include a Nature Interpretation Centre, an Automatic hi-Tech Mist Chamber, and a Naturally Ventilated Polygreen House. He directed Mr. Ajeet Kumar Sahu, the CEO of the Shrine Board, to prepare a Detailed Project Report for Phase-II of the Nursery and start the process of land leveling so that the expanding requirements of the Shrine Board for quality planting material can be met in-house. He also asked for starting the cultivation of hybrid flowers and ornamental plants to meet the emerging requirements of beautifying the Tarakote Marg and other areas visited by the pilgrims.
Governor directed Mr. Ravinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Reasi, to expedite the improvement and black topping of the Panthal-Devi Pindian road.
Maj. Gen. (Retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma, Member of the Shrine Board; Mr. Mohammad Afzal Bhat, Commissioner/Secretary, Forests; Prof. Sanjeev Jain, Vice Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University; Mr. A. K. Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests; Mr. Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board; Mr. Ravinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Reasi; Dr. M. K. Kumar, Additional CEO of the Board and Mr. Shahzad Choudhary, DFO Reasi, were present on this occasion.
It is pertinent to mention that the Governor has been emphasising the crucial need to focus on planting of indigenous species of plants so as to meet the requirement of planting material for progressively securing an extensive green cover in the entire Trikuta Hills. Consequently, successive CEOs have taken steps to establish a modern nursery at Kunia which is spread over an area of 30 kanals. The Forest Wing of the Shrine Board, apart from identifying indigenous species of plants, has also been focusing on enhancing the production capacity of quality planting stock. The Nursery started its production three years ago and, so far, 3,30,203 plants, which include 2,84,114 poly bags and 46,089 root trainers, have been raised for meeting the entire requirements of plants needed for plantation. CEO informed that since the Governor launched the programme to green the Trikuta hills 12.83 lakh plants had been put in the ground.
The salient features of this Nursery are that it has perennial source of water in the form of a spring which has been further complemented by creating 3 underground water storage tanks having a capacity of 1.40 lakh litres. The entire area of the Nursery has been fenced with 1463 metres long chain-link fencing. It has one Mist Chamber (22mx7m) where temperature and aeration are controlled to provide suitable conditions for round the year propagation and growth of plants. Two Poly-green houses, and one naturally ventilated Poly-green house have been constructed to provide a protected environment for cultivation of quality planting material. For ensuring the re-usability of components, light weight and re-usable root trainer based ports of 150 cc and 300 cc along with weightless growing media are being used. An advanced fogging system has also been adopted for watering the nursery plantlets. The Nursery has one Vermin-compost unit and one Farm Yard compost pit which have capacities of 9 and 10 tons per annum, respectively.
The Nursery is quite popular with the Forest Training institutions of various States as well as Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy Dehradun, which regularly send their trainees for exposure to the Nursery.
Other components of the Nursery include a multi-functional nursery building having storage-cum-residential facility with a plinth area of 1350 sft, besides an all weather 363 metres service road linking the various nursery units constructed with interlocking tiles, for better nursery operation handling. For ensuring uninterrupted power supply to various units of the Nursery, a 100 KVA transformer and 63 KVA DG set have been installed.
Among those present on this occasion were Mr. Pankaj Gupta, Dy. CEO, Shrine Board; Ms. Neelam Khajuria, SDM, Katra; Mr. Sumir Kotwal, Additional SP Katra; Mr. Rajinder Singh, OSD, SMVDSB; Dr. (Brig) Man Mohan Harjai, Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Suneet Marwah, CEO and Mr. Manu Ramachandar, Facility Director, SMVDNSH, Kakryal; other concerned officers and engineers of the Shrine Board. (PTK)