Now Amar Bel Threatens Gulab Bagh

More than a century old and one of the first zoos of India, Gulab Bagh is under threat once again. This time it is a natural risk caused by Amar Bel (Giant Dodder) - a parasitic vine which is rapidly spreading over several trees of the garden zoo.

 

Now Amar Bel Threatens Gulab Bagh

More than a century old and one of the first zoos of India, Gulab Bagh is under threat once again.  This time it is a natural threat caused by ‘Amar Bel‘ (Giant Dodder) – a parasitic vine which is rapidly spreading over several trees of the garden-zoo.

Municipal Corporation of Udaipur, which is presently looking after the garden, is perhaps not aware of the destruction that will be caused by Amar Bel.

Expert environmentalist Dr. Raza H. Tehsin was one of the first persons to notice Amar Bel in the garden and said that Amar Bel (Botanical name: Cuscuta reflexa) is an unusual parasitic vine, which grows on its host plant, and also draws nutrition from it resulting in the death of the host.

Dr. Tehsin informed that at present Amar Bel can be seen widely spread over bushes and trees near and around the Library Hall. It was never seen in this botanical garden and started developing from the past few years.

Dr. Tehsin is highly worried about the future of Gulab Bagh; not only the spreading of Amar Bel but also the city administration’s recommendation of transforming the garden-zoo into an Amusement park.

Tehsin, along with the support of individuals and organizations, is leading an online and offline campaign ‘Save Gulab Bagh’ that has created momentum and brought more concerned people on the board.

According to Arefa Tehsin, daughter of Dr. Raza Tehsin and an environmentalist herself along with a US based social activist Jagruti Bhikha has offered help for the cause.

There are other organizations that have come forth to voluntarily support ‘Save Gulab Bagh’ like NGO Pahal and Mr. Viren Lobo’s Rashtriya Prakritik Sanasadhan Prabandhan Manch.

Syed Usman from Delhi has proposed to come with a team and make a documentary on Gulab Bagh.

Henric Carlsson, a Swedish national based in Udaipur, has already started to photo-document on Gulab Bagh voluntarily on a daily basis.

Gulab Bagh is known as the Oxygen Zone of the city due to its vast variety of flora.  Over the issue of turning it into an amusement park, the Mayor of the city cleared her point saying that they are not going to disturb the natural beauty of the garden and will use a specific area for amusement.

However, the Mayor was unavailable for comment when contacted over the Amar Bel issue.

Dr. Tehsin further informed that the locality was under the authority of Water Works Department and has recently been handed over to the Municipal Corporation.  According to Dr. Tehsin, pesticides can be used to remove this dangerous plant from the park and avert the imminent danger to the age-old and rare trees.

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