| The proposed forest research centre could come up on the stretch of land near the western boundary of Eco Park. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
The state environment and forests department wants to develop nearly five acres of land along the western boundary of Eco Park as a forest research centre.
The proposed facility would be used for plantation activities on an experimental basis and observation of growth of plants. According to sources, around 2,000 people visit the park everyday.
“The Eco Park was supposed to be developed in three phases. We have developed two green patches adjoining the secretariat in the first two phases. The department now wants to develop 20,000sqm (4.94 acres) of land along the western boundary of the park,” a senior environment and forests department officer said.
He added: “The department has prepared a preliminary scheme for the development of the land situated along a large drain. There can be two approaches to develop the drain — either to construct walls on either sides of it or completely cover it. We are planning to either cover it up or set up a filtration plant to clean its water. Once the work on the drain is over, we can start work on the rest of the land. We can either develop the land as a park or use it as a high-tech forest research centre. The land stretches from east to west along Hardinge Road. It is difficult to develop it as a park because of this linear shape.”
The officer said the department might opt for a forest research centre. “Plantation would be carried out in the proposed centre for experiment and research. A part of this research centre might be later developed as a nursery to display exquisite plants,” he added. The officer said the proposal would be sent to the state government within a fortnight.
The park is divided into two parts — the northern segment measuring 12 acres and the southern one measuring 9 acres. It houses over 2,000 plants with medicinal values and several peepal and banyan saplings. The park, which also has a 2km jogging track, was inaugurated by chief minister Nitish Kumar on March 23, 2010, in the presence of his deputy and other cabinet colleagues.
“We have sent a proposal for releasing fish of better varieties into the pond,” district forest officer (Patna) Ravishankar Prasad told The Telegraph.