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Fire damages medicinal garden near Deepor Beel

The medicinal and aromatic plant garden at Chakardo near Deepor Beel in Kamrup (metro) district was damaged by a fire on Monday.

Spread over 2.5 hectares in Rani reserve forest, the garden is run by the City Plantation Range of Guwahati Social Forestry Division.

Sources said the western part of the garden had caught fire damaging nearly ‘50 per cent of the garden’.

‘The plant species that have been burnt were about two-years old,’ said an official who did not wish to be named.

The garden houses more than 150 plant species including 12, which were planted recently. Among the species, which were burnt, include white sandal (Fantalum album) and agaru (Aquilariaagallocha).

While the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, residents attribute the fire to lack of management.

‘Far from undertaking post-plant management, the garden is left to rot. Non-existence of fire lines along the boundary of the garden has led to the devastation of plants in the garden,’ a source said.

Fire lines are areas, which are cleared of vegetation in the hope of stopping or at least slowing a fire.

‘There should be a 12-feet broad fire line along the boundary of the garden which should be kept clean so that a fire cannot spread inside the garden,’ he said.

Laxman Teron, an environmentalist said to ensure zero mortality, post plantation management is a must.

Text and picture by Kishore Talukdar