Edit & Opinion

Eternal landscape geography of the soul: A wishful thinking

It was the other day the children assembled in the family made this writer realize how outdated he has become. It so happened while imploring upon one of the concerned in the Forest Department, on cellphone, to ensure during the ensuing planting season there should not be any miss to introduce Jarcanda as assured adorable gift of nature beyond words a native tree in the South of Latin America.

It has not one but five different colours– Blue, Yellow, two species, white pale purple and pink.

An article written by this author last year saw authorities assure him to have these planted in state Forest Research Nurseries in Sidhra Jammu. After a long wait B M Sharma (IFS, then Director of the institute) took initiative and got this plant raised against very heavy odds through the dedication of Rakesh Abrol (DFO) and his dedicated team. Scheduled previous plantation drive had been at the lowest ebb in monsoon season in the history of the Forest Department.

A criminal negligence at higher echelon caused about 1.65 crores plants of about 80 rare species to become outdated and thus wasted. No one was held responsible to cause loss to exchequers’ money as well as hard labour put in by the staff detailed in these nurseries. In a transparent accountable deliverance system many heads must had been rolled down.

Children being near the listening distance to the conversation promoted one of granddaughter asking in utter disbelief why Jarcanda trees are not here who had come to celebrate her 5th birthday from Johannesburg, South Africa. Stressing Johannesburg has long unending avenues of the tree, and on her return these shall be in full bloom– it looks fantastic, desired to know why these are not planted here.

Another one from Chandigarh, put me further on the back foot with her childish query that Climate, topography and the rock formation of the both places is alike then why it is not as beautifully laden with flowering trees as Chandigarh.

Another mocked me asking: Nanu, is Article 370 is the reason? Another child corrected that Environment has neither any boundary nor it keeps it so.

Reverting back one of them quipped– Dadu as an environmentalist you owe an explanation?

This time I had to fumble with the words because it was neither advisable nor appropriate to share with them the way deliverance apparatus is plagued. It is too early to expose them to this obnoxious astrosphere.

Way back in 2010 on the social site a few flowering trees with many shades of hue and colours on road avenues drew attention. Quite a breath taking affair; I never saw such rich blooming trees anywhere in the State. And there after for last 8 years persistently it is being pleaded to emulate what others have done with their landscape.

The cities like Chandigarh, Bangalore and a few others are the most beautiful planned cities before us. In particular in terms of roadside landscape and chore of avenues trees. A simple question arises similar to which children asked: what stops the authorities to embark upon such programmes despite there is a large scope of landscape, roadside and avenue plantation.

As a lay man one would like both sides of the roads, canal, banks, even the premises of the various institutions adorned with beautiful shady and forage trees, with it the flowering tress regime which flower around the year one after the other.

It makes one to think where lies the hitch despite adequate funds are available, rather wasted with impunity. State has urban forestry Divisions to take care of the Municipality and its periphery, Municipal Corporations, Town Area committees have their own wing, beyond it comes Social Forestry under which National Highways other major roads and whole rural space under its ambit.

The authorities at the helm of affairs need to device objects of managements for different sites while doing plantation activities. It is desirable that the first and foremost priority of plantations along the banks of rivers, canals and on roadside be the prime objective.

This writer is of the view that a road avenue should be laced with beautiful flowering trees with the scented flowers in full colourful bloom of one colour for a season stretch within such trees has a definite flowering seasons.

Such tree lines could be alternated with other species having a flowering season immediately succeeding the flowering time of earlier species which makes permanent bloom in all the seasons through the year and with a few shady trees desired to be intermingled in the rows in such a manner without compromising the atheistic.

Writer to be sincere is not technical expertise to handle requisite planning such as to device a suitable plantation model but a technical driven scheme can be worked out by the concerned.

An inquest was made after the children pointed out the lack of zeal to add atheistic beauty as elsewhere on the landscape of the state, a few species tried elsewhere under similar condition could be worked out.

Banyan tree, flowering month throughout the year, religious, bark and aerial roots yield fibre, leaves as fodder and gives shade. Variegated or Buddhist bauhinia orchard tree, flowers march to April to June , has floral buds edible, pods and leaves used for fodder, scared tree, timber wood Java cedar, bishop wood, west Indian cedar, vinegar wood, red cedar, flowering season march to April, timber used for pile, foundation railways etc. dye for rattan stuff. Scarlet bottlebrush, flowering March to August, ornamental. Bastared cedar, Indian redwood, Chittagong wood, flowering season march to May used for furniture, bark for tanning, flowers yield dyes, Rose wood, south Indian rosewood, flowers March to May, gives shade and timber. Child life tree, lucky bean tree, Indian amulet, wild olive tree, gives flower from March to May, an ornamental tree, and leaves used a fodder. Mango, cupid’s favourite, spring tree, cuckoo’s joy lowering March to April, fruit edible, timber and medicinal one.

Indian meddler, bullet wood tree, gives flower from March to May, ornamental, insecticides, fish and arrow poison.

Sliver oak or Silky oak, flowers from April to May, Ornamental and avenue tree. Indian blackberry, black plum, jave plum, flowers season April to June, fruit edible and has a medicinal value, timber, fuel wood, dyes. Leafed jacaranda flowers April to May, ornamental and avenue tree. Sausage or fetish tree, cucumber tree, flowers from April to July, ornamental and purgative. Saffron teak, Shade, Wood for carving, making combs, writing tables and ornamental platters flowering June to July. Kadam flowers from July to September. Bottle palm.

Royal palm, mountain glory, flowers August to October, ornamental, wood used for making match boxes, pulp; flowers scared, fruits edible. Stone siris, white siris, used as for timber, fodder, medicinal uses also yields charcoal and gum, flowering season from August to September. Australian Acacia or Phyliode, Australian Wattle.

Ornamentals Tree &fuel Wood flowering month September to November. Pink or red cedar. Indian oak tree, jasmine tree, flowers from September to November, ornamental, yield low quality cork, source of timber. Chinese Yellow tree flowers October to November. Ornamental, flowers source of yellow dye, medicinal, seeds used for beads. Camel hoof, tree bean, mountain ebony, flowers October to December, leaves for fodder, flora buds as food.

The bio tree, pipul flowers October to September, almost through the year scared tree leaves used for miniature paintings, host for lac and silk worm insects, ornamental, Kasood, djoowar, flowers November to December, Ornamental, timber for bridges, props, telegraph poles also used firewood.. Shingle tree, used for making tea chests, flowering season December to February.

Scholar or devil’s bark tree, shaitain wood tree used medicinal (vermifuge), the wood used for making slates blackboards, bark bitter and astringe flowering season December to March. Jack Fruit, fruit and seed edible, yields a yellow dye, and timber for furniture, flowering season November to January, Mast tree, Indian fir. Ashoka tree, flowers February to May, Indian scared tree and ornamental. It is up to the authorities to consider suggestion, one can take a horse to the water, drinking is his business.

 

The writer is a renowned Jammu-based Environmentalist.

 

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