Desolate railway tracks transformed into a verdant oasis

| | New Delhi
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Desolate railway tracks transformed into a verdant oasis

Monday, 15 April 2024 | Deepak Kumar Jha | New Delhi

Desolate railway tracks transformed into a verdant oasis

Blooming at the confluence of railway tracks connecting New Delhi Railway Station to Nizamuddin and another towards Ghaziabad, a sprawling haven of green with blossoming flowers has been developed. Once a haven of crime where the administration struggled to identify victims of crimes on the railway tracks and its periphery, it has now been transformed.

Christened as ‘Evergreen Nursery’, the 25,000 square metres patch of land which can be viewed from the railway bogies, the elevated metro and now the Bharatmandapam, the garden boasts of ornamental and garden plants worth even `one crore single plant with maximum of them imported from south East Asian countries and primarily from Thailand.

Once a barren land full of filth, garbage, human and animal carcasses, the one year old green patch with millions of plants has come up in partnership with Delhi Division of Northern Railway and the private party Evergreen Nursery adjacent to the Pragati Maidan Railway Halt.

Vivid varieties and species of ferns, Bougainvillea, Erica Palm, Money plant, rose, bonsai, Oleander (Nerium Indicum), Snake Plant besides the exotic shrubs like Redermachera sinica Thai, Pachira plant Thai, Podocarpus, Aglaonema red Thai, Dicffenbachia Tiger, Philochemdrum Plant, Victoria, Boracia, Ficis Lyrata, Draco Stem, Rhapis palm are some names nurtured in the flower pots and the land that has been made fertile.

However, the plants are not for sale and for any business but are rented out to railway stations, other Government buildings, convention halls etc.

Plants nourished here now also adorn some of the country’s border points and coastal areas as part of the beautification drive of the Central and several State Governments and PSUs.

“The drive is totally inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachhata Mission. Now anywhere you go, not only the railway premises but other Government buildings all appear clean and green. The patch near Pragati Maidan used to be filth once upon a time and with the initiative of incumbent Railway Minister (Ashwini Vaishnaw) several railway properties are being redeveloped as per the environmental needs. And all require people’s support and hence many more such initiatives will come in near future,” said Deepak Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Northern Railways.

Proprietor of the Evergreen Nursery Kalicharan said he, along with his 100 odd gardeners working to curate the nursery, consider this to be their baby, not just a plant.

“A year ago I began as a professional but now I can’t imagine my life without these green species. You may call it my profession or hobby but I consider this my religion and a spiritual connection. Millions of life in the form of plants here grows which keeps me happy always. Passengers crossing this area in trains point towards the huge bonsai, exotic shrubs and many more and this keeps me going,” said Kalicharan who thanked the entire railway authorities for being cooperative in this ‘business’.

In fact railways gave the land for developing a green patch in lieu of a nominal rent which has also become bread and butter for the lives of workers of the Evergreen Nursery. Sources in the Northern Railway said it has partnered with the Evergreen Nursery for a period of seven years to begin with “We have leased for a green cover for a term of 7 years which may be extended or curtailed based on the requirement of the land by the railways,” said a NR official.

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