Calcutta High Court on Friday constituted a three-member committee of experts to chalk out a developmental plan for the 200-year-old Botanical Garden at Shibpur, in Howrah. The court asked the committee to submit a report to it in this regard.
The committee comprises chief conservator of forests Pranay Sanyal, N. Trivedi of the Botanical Survey of India and chief environment officer Dhruvajyoti Ghosh. The division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Mathur and Justice J. Mitra also directed the state government to post more policemen for maintenance of law and order at the garden.
The order was passed on a public interest litigation by environmental activist Subhas Dutta, general secretary of Howrah Ganatantrik Nagarik Samity, alleging that “callous management” had ruined the historic garden. He also alleged that 4,500 medicinal herbs and more than 400 rare plants were dying out but the management was not keen on preserving them.
The petitioner said a gang of goons was active in the garden, indulging in various anti-social activities. He sought an order of the high court, asking the authorities to take proper steps to preserve the garden. Dutta also demanded an experts’ panel to draw up garden revival plans.