THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) in Palode, which boasts of having the largest collection of trees, bamboos, orchids, medicinal, aromatic and spice plants in South Asia, is set to become the latest entrant on the tourist map of the state.
It is learnt that the institution, touted for its conservation, management and sustainable utilisation of tropical plant resources, will get promoted as an eco-tourism destination.
“With the consequences of climate change already upon us, it is high time we reached out to more audience. Once JNTBGRI gets promoted as an eco-tourism destination, it will boost for conservation and awareness activities,” said a source with the institution.
According to the source, new initiatives that are on JNTBGRI’s anvil include an interpretation centre, trekking path, birds’ corner, tribal habitat, Kerala Gramam and an elevated viewing point among others. As far as basic amenities are concerned, a toilet block and parking area are also being planned. “The proposal submitted by JNTBGRI got the approval of state government.
The project, which will be implemented by Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd, comes at a cost of `2.96 crore and it will be completed within a year,” said the source. At the same time, an officer of JNTBGRI said that new initiatives will help the institute raise its conservation and awareness programmes to a new level. The officer also added that the initiatives will help attract more people, including domestic and international tourists.
“The institute, on an annual basis, sees a footfall of 50,000 visitors, majority of whom are students. With the launch of eco-tourism projects, more people will swarm the garden,” said the officer. When asked about this, JNTBGRI director R Prakash Kumar told Express that through the proposed initiatives, one who visits the institute will understand the conservation activities more systematically.
He also said that more details of the project couldn’t be divulged as the Chief Minister is expected to announce the same.
For a better cause
Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute is a 325-acre plot
It conserves the rare and vanishing wild plant genetic resources of the country
It is annually visited by around 50,000 visitors.
Tribal habitat, an initiative to introduce the tribal life and the plant species associated with them
Kerala Gramam, an indigenous conservatory that will portray the village life of Kerala 100 to 150 years ago
Birds Corner; planting trees that attract birds and provide them with food and shelter
Trekking path to introduce the people to the world of different types of forests
Major attractions of the centre
Conservation and popularisation of lesser-known fruit plants of Western Ghats
Orchard for wild edibles
Plants of Andaman and Nicobar Islands