Mother plants dying at Savar horticulture centre
Heavy downpour in the past few weeks has brought many problems for the government-run Horticulture Centre in Savar's Rajalakh, an institution that has been instrumental for widespread tree plantation in the area.
The centre provides saplings at low prices to encourage people to plant and grow trees. However, due to heavy water logging after rain, the mother plants at the nursery are dying.
Savar municipality's subpar drainage system has cause the waterlogging problem, according to Horticulture Centre staff.
Sheikh Iffat Ara Islam, a horticulturist at the centre said the institution was established in 1972 and since then it has been providing grafted and other saplings to people at a low price. "We have given Tk 10 lakhs and 10 thousand as revenue to the government by sailing grafting and other saplings last year," she said.
But since last year, water logging has hampered production and many mother plants including dragonfruit, rambutan, pink jackfruit and orange (locally called malta) have died due to water logging, said Iffat Ara Islam. She says the unplanned drainage system of the municipality is to blame for this.
The centre currently has no mother plans left for rambutan and pink jackfruit, while the dragonfruit and orange plants are severely damaged. Centre personnel estimate that over 100 plants have suffered in this time.
"We have requested the mayor to solve the drainage issue in a letter last month, but there has been little progress," she said, "This is dangerous for the plants."
The centre's revenue will decrease if this continues.
On a visit to the centre last week, this correspondent found at least 6.72 acres submerged in knee-deep water. Many mother plants were severely damaged or on the verge of dying.
Enamul Haque, a returning customer of the centre, said, "We buy both grafting and other saplings at Tk 15-100 from here. It's prices are very good and people can easily take up gardening using these saplings."
However Enamul hasn't been able to collect a few saplings of choice as the mother plants are too damaged.
Shariful Imam, executive engineer of Savar Municipality said about a week ago, "After receiving the latter we visited the horticulture centre and already setup a pipe to remove the water logging problem."
However, the pipe could do little for the centre. The engineer explained that there is another drain, but it has not been effective as it is at a higher ground level and water from the centre doesn't flow in that direction.
"Setting up the correct drainage system can be the permanent solution for the horticulture centre," he said, "I will visit again and try to make better arrangements."