PK Singh, owner of Netaji Subhas Udyan at Kutchery, Ranchi, shows various varieties of palm. (Prashant Mitra)
City nurseries are doing brisk business, thanks to massive plantation drives that is being carried out in the state capital.
With the onset of monsoon, the obsession for flowering and ornamental plants rises not only among various organisations but among individuals too.
The beeline at the nurseries in Ranchi for flower, medicine, fruit and wood-bearing saplings testifies the trend.
“Our business reaches its peak in the rainy season. It is the best time for us to earn, otherwise we usually have a dull year,” said P.K. Singh, the owner of Netaji Subhas Udyan, which is running for the last 20 years at Kutchery.
He attributed the rise in sales of saplings to the ongoing plantation drives by government, private organisations and schools.
Besides, it was easier to maintain plants during the monsoon.
“Schools buy saplings of wood-bearing plants as they later provide shade to children on campus. Private and government organisations are interested in saplings of fruits and medicinal plants,” Singh said.
This rainy season, the saplings that have caught the eye of homemakers are varieties of palm trees like Chinese fan palm, areca palm and lavish palm. Schools and organisations are picking up neem, gulmohar, gamhar, teak and mahogany.
The cost of palm varieties ranges between Rs 20 and Rs 2,000, depending upon its size and quality. “Areca palm, brought from Calcutta, is in huge demand among homemakers and garden lovers,” Singh added.
Kutchery Chowk is at present dotted with sapling sellers. Around 50 makeshift nurseries have come up besides regular ones on both sides of the road.
“We are selling saplings worth Rs 2,000-Rs 2,500 everyday on an average. During summer, spring and winter seasons, the business barely crosses the Rs 600 mark,” said the owner of Pintu Nursery, Ramesh Kumar.
With schools, corporate houses and NGOs declaring Green Day almost on a daily basis, bulk purchase of saplings is expected to continue in September as well.
Rajesh Kumar, a member of Kokar Wyapar Sangh, recently planted saplings of wood-bearing plants at Distillery Bridge. “We had purchased around 2,000 saplings as this is the suitable time to carry out such a plantation drive,” he added.