JAMUGURIHAT, June 17 � The Forest Department, Government of Assam, had established a medicinal and aromatic plant garden in Fatiabari, Chandmari near Halem under the Social Forestry Range, Halem, Sonitpur.
The construction of the garden started in 2007-2008 on a plot of land measuring more than 37 bighas. The garden was opened by Rockybul Hussain, Minister, Forest and Environment, on February 17, 2009. At that time, it was alleged that the amount was for 40 bighas land, but the amount for three bighas had been misappropriated.
The main aim of the garden was to preserve the rare flora and make people aware of the locally available medicinal and aromatic plants. Nearly 100 species of medicinal, aromatic and valuable trees were to be planted in the garden, and nearly 50 such plants had been planted. The planted aromatic medicinal plants included rare and endangered species like Bishalyakarani (Gexdarusa Valgaris), Brahmi (Bacapa monniere), Bhatghila (Oroxylum indicum quan), Harjorwa lataa (Cissus quandrongulori), Manichal (soapnut), Moutulasi (Stavia), Shatmul (Asparagus recemosus), Nefafu (Clurodendreum Clebrokiunum), Kanibih (Purging nut), Ram Tulosi (Ocimum gratisimm), Machandori (Houttayaniya cordata), Titaphul (Curniflowers phhogaenthuss), etc.
The garden attracted the attention of many and they flocked to the garden to see these flora, wanted to know about the plant and their utility in day-to-day ailments. But the garden is now in a state of devastation. Though almost all sides are well protected, but a portion on the western side has become a grazing ground. For maintenance, these are scores of workers, but as there are no funds (last fund for maintenance came on April 1, 2012), the garden has become thick with undergrowth. The office building is in a deplorable condition. The two-storied building constructed along the northern border of the garden is not fit for habitation. The occupants complained that water leaks from everywhere during rainfall.
There is no provision of electricity, though an electric line runs over the garden. Drinking water facilities are also inadequate etc. Wastage of such huge amount of public money for nothing is a deplorable thing, people said.