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Greenery to stretch arms around Bindusagar

- Forest department to plant saplings with medicinal properties along water body

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 24: Plants with medicinal properties will soon give a green look to Bindusagar Lake here.

The forest department will take up a medicinal plantation drive on the eastern bank of the lake. While the forest department will provide the saplings, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will erect gabions around the plants to protect them.

The medicinal plants include arjun, ashoka, jamun, harida and behada. Though the authorities had conducted a similar plantation drive last year, the trees failed to survive because of lack of maintenance. Forest officials said that instead of smaller saplings, mature saplings of around two years would be planted this time.

“The plantation will give a greener look to the lake. The BMC will take up the maintenance work of the plants,” said A. Mishra, range officer of Mancheswar and in charge of Ekamravan.

A web portal of Ekamravan, the heritage garden situated on the western bank of the lake, has been hosted. The portal contains the history of the lake, details of the medicinal plants at Ekamravan along with their medicinal properties.

At present, the garden has more than 200 varieties of medicinal plants.

“The web portal has been designed and we have linked it with the website of the state forest department,” said a senior forest officer.

The Ekamravan governing body, the body looking after the development of Bindusagar and its peripheral areas, has decided to make the streetlights around the lake functional. Thirty-four light posts with 150Watt sodium bulbs have been installed around the lake while another 15 light boxes have been installed on the premises of Ekamravan.

The authorities have decided to set up a tank near the lake to be used by the people coming for various rituals.

Bindusagar Lake, which is spread over an area of 7.4 acres, was included in the National Lake Conservation Plan by the ministry of environment and forests. Following the plan, the lake is being restored at an estimated cost of Rs 9.37 crore.

It has been five years since the restoration started.