Islamabad: making a city of flowers

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The Capital Development Authority  (CDA) has focused its attention to making Islamabad a city of flowers and has laid multi-coloured flowerbeds on medians and roadsides.

The authority has announced an allocation of Rs 800 million for environmental up-gradation of the Federal Capital and started  special project to plant maximum flowers at roadsides, medians and parks across the city. Talking to APP, an official of CDA said that intermediary spring was going on and the CDA is currently planting three varieties of marigolds. This particular specie would continue beautifying the city till November and will be replaced by spring flowers of petunia, pansy and antirrhinum varieties.

He said CDA usually purchased seeds from authorized dealers of multi-national companies producing hybrid seeds through cross-pollinated plants. The size and colour of the flower can be changed through hybrid seeding process, enabling it to survive in a particular atmosphere, the official said. The Authority prepares nurseries of these flowers in its own 40-acre facility where around two-dozen experts work round the clock, he added. The CDA so far has planted marigold flowers on Constitution Avenue, Margalla Road, Jinnah Avenue, 7th and 9th Avenues, Golra Intersection, Murree Road and Faizabad, he maintained.

The CDA spends around Rs 14 million on purchase of seeds for both flower seasons. About 100 staffers of the Environment Directorate have exclusively been assigned the task of plantation across the city, said the official. The CDA prefers to plant indigenous varieties due to the extreme weather as “We have 20 frosty nights in Islamabad that proves
harmful for the delicate flowers,” he said. The Rose and Jasmine Garden has 30,000 rose plants of 600 varieties and five varieties of jasmine. However, the CDA cannot afford to import the remaining eight varieties of jasmine because all of them are not produced in a single country, the official said.

He said the new varieties of rose were being planted through graftingmostly done in UK where a grafted plant is sold for 25 to 30 pounds. Besides, the CDA has also increased the number of tree plantation from 0.4 million to one million annually. app

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