TNAU designs Genetic Heritage Gardens’ Landscaping Plans

Experts from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and its constituent colleges in other parts of the State will be involved in drawing up landscaping details for the five genetic heritage gardens that are to come up in as many locations in the State.

Vice – Chancellor of the University P. Murugesa Boopathi told on Thursday that a steering committee had been constituted to carry out the works of the genetic heritage gardens – Kurinji, Mullai, Marudham, Neythal, and Palai – proposed by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and he was one of the members.

“The role of the TNAU is to collect plant species that are described in the Sangam era for the five ecosystems. These will be segregated as seeds, saplings and grown trees,” the Vice – Chancellor said.

“As many as 35 to 45 species for each ecosystem has been identified. The list will be submitted to the Chief Minister.

On his approval, the planting of these species will begin. Some we have collected. Others have to be found from the forests,” he said.

The species included flower, fruit, herb, shrub, and other varieties that were peculiar to each ecosystem. The university had decided on a common landscaping pattern for all the ecosystems.

The team of experts from the university would visit each site and make plans for the planting of the species in the allotted 20 to 25 acres.

Since most of the animals of that era were extinct, models or figurines of these would be placed at vantage points among the plants.

Those that were identifiable among the present living species would be chosen to be part of the fauna of the ecosystem. But, their movement would be restricted in order to protect the flora, the Vice – Chancellor added.

“Many intricate details have to be taken notice of while re – creating the ecosystem. For example, in Kurinji, honey is a very important factor to be included.

Hence, a beehive has to be created on a tree. People of Kurinji slept in lofts made in elevated homes for fear of attack from animals. Hence, provision has to be made for these too,” Mr. Boopathi said.

The university hoped to start planting before the onset of the North – East monsoon in September. Some plants and trees could be uprooted and re – planted to save time.

Various other aspects of the Sangam era would be taken into consideration from other experts before the university decided on the final plan.

“The work will be put on fast track because the gardens are expected to be inaugurated during Pongal, according to MSSRF Chairman M.S. Swaminathan,” the Vice – Chancellor said.

“We have also suggested to the government that models of these genetic heritage gardens may also be created in the Semmozhi Poonga coming up in Coimbatore so that people here can get to know of these even before going to the actual locations. Each model can occupy five acres, out of the total 165 acres of the Semmozhi Poonga,” Mr. Boopathi said.

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