Bhubaneswar: A specially designed ‘Orchidarium’ on the premises of Botanic Garden at Regional Plant Resource Centre (RPRC) in Bhubaneswar was inaugurated by Forest & Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Friday.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 73 lakhs, with financial assistance from the Forest & Environment department and work executed by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), the Orchidarium is now ready for opening to public.
Plant conservation and research are the main mandates of RPRC with special emphasis on off-site preservation of plant genetic resources of Odisha. Besides other groups of plants, RPRC has paid special attention for collection, propagation, conservation and reintroduction of wild orchids of Odisha along with research on promising hybrid orchids of commercial importance.
At present, RPRC has a collection of 93 wild orchid species and around 217 hybrids and the Centre focuses on propagation, genetic diversity assessment, conservation and reintroduction of orchids in natural forest habitats of the State.
The RPRC has constructed the Orchidarium for display of available orchid species and hybrids for public viewing and education with a view to conserve and create awareness among researchers, scientists, students and general public about the diversity, commercial and conservation importance of orchids of Odisha in particular and India in general.
Among others, senior officers of the Forest & Environment department including Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, RPRC’s Chief Executive Rebecca Nayar and other dignitaries attended the inaugural function.