From a Correspondent
Dibrugarh, Feb 20: Jokai Botanical Garden (JBG) will soon see the light of the day. The garden, a part earmarked within the huge Jokai Reserve Forest (JRF), had to face a few setbacks in the past before it could reach its present stage.
Various authorities concerned, under the aegis of the Dibrugarh administration, are trying their best to turn the spot into a tourist spot. The expectations are high that the garden will be able to draw local tourists as well as the ones from far-flung places. Conscious citizens believe that the objective to attract tourists will be better achieved if adequate and sincere efforts are taken to conserve the JRF too, one which lies in a dilapidated state today.
The JRF, currently, is mired in a slew of problems. A sense of negligence coupled with clear lack of conviction has brought the forest to its dismal state. To begin with, accommodation facilities for the armed personnel within the forest are extremely poor. Due to lack of space, the Forest Beat Officer and his juniors have been made to stay together in a ramshackle quarter. While the condition of the quarter is indeed regrettable, what is more shocking is the common accommodation.
Furthermore, many well-intentioned steps were taken in the past, but they all became a victim to ill-conceived designs. A medicil nursery was started within the JRF along with attached quarters for the staff. But, it was only a matter of time before things took an ugly turn. So much so, that although one can see the fast growing medicil plants today, one cannot see anyone taking care of them, leaving the nursery in a deplorable state. Same can be said about the abandoned staff-quarters. Similarly, the officials also began the fine practice of vermicompost at the spot but things could not take flight.
Moreover, leaving the forest highly vulnerable to miscreants and other anti-social elements, no surveillance vehicles have been deployed. JRF has got immense potential to emerge as a crowd-puller, it only needs a dedicated nurturer. The forest is one of the best places to observe the fasciting practice of mud-puddling involving a wide variety of multi-coloured butterflies. In the same manner, there is immense scope for extensive tree plantation within the premises. The authorities must realize that tourists can have different kinds of taste, and as such, should be ready with multiple things on offer to make the package attractive enough. So if the authorities are to make the most of it, JRF – one that houses JBG – cannot be turned a blind eye to. As they say, one should miss the forest for the woods.