After Glory of Allapalli in Gadchiroli district became Maharashtra’s 1st Biodiversity Heritage Site, we are on the verge of adding one more jewel to the crown. The research garden of Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), Rahuri situated along the river Mula, may soon be declared as a 'biodiversity heritage site' in the next six months.
The Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB) has shortlisted this garden to be labeled under the BHS. A senior researcher from MSBB said,
Declaring the Peshwa-era garden a heritage site under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 will ensure that the flora and fauna in the 145-acre garden are protected and preserved.
The proposal was first suggested by S B Gurav, former faculty member of MPKV, which was accepted and presented to MSBB by the vice-chancellor of MPKV K P Viswanatha.
The land in its initial stages was a mango orchard, planted in the 18th century. Later, it was transformed into a garden by the former Governor General Sir John Malcolm and was tagged ‘botanical garden' in 1873. After independence, its reigns were handed over to Indian Agriculture Research Institute, which was later handed over to MPKV.
A senior researcher from MSBB further said,
"There is a high demand for the land as it is lies in the heart of the city. It has been observed that the garden, which is now being used as a research area, had undergone several changes before being made a part of MPKV. Today, a road runs through the garden dividing it in two parts. In order to preserve the garden, it has been proposed to declare it as a biodiversity heritage site."
There are about 165 species of natural and agricultural vegetation in this garden that include trees, plants, insects and animals. Many of these species have high medicinal value and so to maintain this, MPKV holds a 'biodiversity register' to keep the track of it.
Information source: toi
Title image: edunuts