Visakhapatnam: Terrace garden idea withers away

Visakhapatnam: With apartment owners not allowing tenants to go for terrace gardening in Vizag city, the green scheme of the horticulture department is finding very few takers. Only about 20 per cent of terrace garden units prepared in fiscal year 2015-16 have been sold till date. Most of the seeds provided by the department have crossed expiry dates, forcing the few interested people to buy material and seeds from outside.

The scheme that was launched under the Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana of the Union ministry of agriculture in the city got over 50 units in 2014-15 and 300 for the year 2015-16. The horticulture department provides sand, seed, trellis, rose can, cages, hand sprayer and other material. Mini kits are being supplied in rural areas also to encourage home gardening.

Vegetables such as brinjal, tomato, ladyfinger, chilli, bitter gourd, ridge gourd and many leafy vegetables can be raised in the gardens. Assistant director of horticulture K. Sailaja said the seeds prepared for terrace gardening are good for use within six months and hence they, and the neem oil, have crossed the expiry date. People interested in terrace gardening would have to purchase these seed from outside.

“We are creating awareness in colonies and trying to make people understand that terrace gardening will not damage the house structures,” she said. A minimum 40 square feet of area is required to set up a terrace garden, with the department providing the garden package to interested people with a package cost of Rs 6,000 in which the government will give a subsidy of Rs 3,000.

N Satya, a civil engineer, said “It is a wrong notion that the terrace gardening will damage and disfigure the slab. The plants will be grown in pots and large-sized tubs and the watering will be done through a miniature form of drip irrigation.”

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