By Gautami Kongara

People at work in the nursery

The Horticulture Department of University of Hyderabad is responsible for maintaining the greenery and all the gardens in the university which include the neem trees that are more than a lakh in number. It has been planting 10,000 saplings every year in the university and producing a variety of organic vegetables and fruits.

The type of plantation from the department is categorized into flowering (peltophorum, gulmohar, cassia, jacaranda), non-flowering (neem, pongamia, ashoka, palm) and fruit bearing (mango, lime, papaya, kalajamun). They also have shrubbery that are categorized into flowering (hibiscus, nerium, jatropha, nandivardhanam, rose), non-flowering for decorative purposes (drycena, dieffenbachia) and seasonal varieties of vegetables and creepers. Most of these seeds are developed in the campus and few are purchased.

Every alternate day the nursery sells vegetables in front of the administration building which include a minimum of five varieties – 10 kg ladies finger, 5 kg brinjal, 50 – 60 bunches of spinach, bottle gourds, snake gourds, green chillies.

The Horticulture Department also collects kitchen waste from the campus and maintains a 10 feet “vermi-compost yard” which provides compost every 40 days and is used for the plantation as fertilizer. The department, however, is facing insufficient amount of funds, official sources reveal. “The maintenance fund of 4 lakh per annum is insufficient to meet requirements,” Assistant Horticulturalist, Chandra Prakash Sharma explains. He says that the non-availability of funds had rendered the  department unable to procure tractors and other equipment required for caring and nurturing the plantations.