29 May 2017 | Last updated 12:45 PM

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9K medicinal trees wilt on Raigad Fort
Pandurang Mhaske | Monday, 20 March 2017 AT 10:50 PM IST
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Mumbai: Around 9,000 of 16,000 medicinal trees have wilted due to insufficient water supply at Raigad Fort. The forest department had planted around 16,000 medicinal plants at the fort under water conservation programme in July 2016. Under the employment guarantee scheme of the Raigad district, the block development officer of the district was assigned to water the all the planted plants as per regular requirement.

In less than a year, 8,825 trees wilted due to insufficient water supply.  Ram Shinde, Water Conservation Minister, said that there were no labourers available for watering all the plants. Mahad Panchayat Samiti was also tried to appoint labourers for the task but failed.

The samiti tried to rope in local NGOs but they refused to do the work. “Considering the geography, topography and climate on the fort, the ratio of survival of the trees was decided up to 50 per cent and 7,175 trees are alive on the fort.  Hence, the government had planted double the number of trees than required,” said Shinde. The plantation drive was carried out in July 2016. Lack of maintenance and irregular watering eventually led to the death of these plants.

Ironically, the apathy has come to light near Raigad Fort which is being maintained and preserved as a heritage site.
Sources said that the plants wilted due to sheer negligence on the part of the concerned department.

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