IFS officer Aishwarya Raj transforms barren land into ‘Swarnim Vatika’ at Shamshi in Kullu

Aishwarya is Deputy Conservator of forest, Parbati division, Kullu

IFS officer Aishwarya Raj transforms barren land into ‘Swarnim Vatika’ at Shamshi in Kullu

The Swarnim Vatika at Shamshi in Kullu. Photo by writer

Abhinav Vashisht
Kullu, July 5

IFS officer Aishwarya Raj, who is Deputy Conservator of forest, Parbati division, Kullu, has transformed a barren land of 2.5 acres, being used as a dumping yard, into a “Swarnim Vatika” near the Forest Colony at Shamshi in Bhuntar subdivision.

Once a shabby dumpyard and a breeding ground for anti-social elements, the land now has a landscape garden with a variety of trees, creepers, shrubs and herbs.

The officer says that he assumed charge in January and he came to know about the area during general inspection in February. Indiscriminate dumping of waste was posing a threat to the river and was also harming the ecosystem.

The state government announced the initiative of ‘’Swarnim Vatika’’, a plantation drive to celebrate the golden jubilee of the state’s formation. He adds that funds were sought under the programme to reform the area.

Rai says that waste and weeds in the area were removed and disposed of. “We planted over 400 species of native varieties such as deodar, silver oak, horse-chestnut, rose, thuja, cycas, ribbon plant, gladiola, apple, peach, apricot, plum and pomegranate. Due to good rainfall in February, most of the plants have survived,” he adds.

The Deputy Conservator says that a walking trail was made from discarded slates and landscaping was done using river stones to maintain natural aesthetics. He adds that the area had been fenced and CCTV cameras installed there. The park would be thrown open to the public soon.

The officer says Himalayan Aquaworld comprising a 30-foot semicircular aquarium and a fountain with a revolving globe had been incorporated in the Nature Park at Mohal. A unique traffic park had been created within the park. Children would be allowed cycling and they would be made aware of road safety rules.

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