PUDUCHERRY : Lieutenant Governor Ajay Kumar Singh on Monday directed the Territorial administration to complete the renovation and beautification work on the 188-year-old Botanical Garden before this financial year-end.
Singh who visited the garden, which had attracted much attention through Ang Lee’s movie ‘ Life of Pi’, inspected the work taken up at a cost of `8.15 crore under a Centrally-sponsored scheme in December 2013.
The garden was established during the French regime in May 1826 with “ Jardin du Roi”(The King’s Garden) and the other “ Jardin Colonial et Acclimatation” ( The Colonial Garden And Acclimatisation). Initially it was experimental in nature. After a decade in 1938, a botanist S G Perottet took over charge of the garden and enriched it with species of rare and interesting plants.
But the garden was damaged during the cyclone Thane following which the Department of Tourism and Agriculture drew separate plans for restoration.
Under the tourism project, garden facilities comprising kids play-area, a Japanese garden, viewing deck, rock garden, Ashlar bridge and grass-steeped seating were taken up.
Besides pathway and jogging track facilities near the toy train, landscaping and parking facilities as well as an interpretation centre for visiting tourists and students on various floral species in the garden were undertaken.
The Agriculture Department has started replanting the trees damaged in the cyclone, while adding new species as well.
The Lieutenant governor emphasised on the need for strengthening the fossil park by adding fossils from all over the country. At present there are fossils only from Thiruvarkkarai. He also expressed dismay over the poorly maintained founder’s memorial inside the park and directed the authorities to pay attention towards it.
Along with officials of tourism and agriculture he went around and made special inquiries about amusement activities as well.