Dwarka's greenery under attack from parasitic plant
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Dwarka's greenery under attack from parasitic plant

The morning walkers and the nature lovers of the city are witness to the growth of the monster plants across the city.

Dwarka's greenery under attack from parasitic plant

The greenery of the sub city is, of late, under attack from cuscuta, a parasitic plant commonly known as ‘Amarbel’, which grows on other plants and weakening the host plant. Be it roadside plants, trees, the horticulture parks or green area, all the greeneries are vulnerable to the parasite. Infection of the parasite leads to slow death. 

The devastating effect of Amarbel can be seen on the trees and plants at Sector 12, 10, 22, 23, 20, 8,18,19 etc. The morning walkers and the nature lovers of the city are witness to the growth of the monster plants across the city. 

Sukh Dukh Ke Saathi vice-president SS Mann, said, “I have noticed the impact of the parasite on the vegetation in front of Bharat Vandana project area. The roadside shrubs of Sector 22 too are not immune from its impact. The greenery in the entire area is under threat.”

“Leave alone plants with fresh leaves and shrubs, even green grass alongside pavements are not spared by the monster, he said, adding, “The Sector 12 greenery is the worst affected. I can say from my own experience that I have gained during my morning walks that I have been taking for the past five years that this time around the cuscuta affect is more intense than any other time in the past.”

T Sampat Kumar, a resident of Vikram Nagar CGHS (Cooperative Group Housing Society), Sector 12, recalled the last time the cuscutta attacked the city in a big way was in 2010. I notice the same intensity in its attack this time around. 

Underscoring the urgency, he called upon the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to take the matter into seriously and initiate remedial measures rid the city of the menace.

Other areas reeling under the effect of the parasite include the parks in Sector 10, Sector 14 and the major roads of the city etc. Trees in general and ornamental plants on road dividers in particular are infected with Amarbel.  

A resident of Sector 14, Shubha Swati, said, “DDA horticulture officials seem a bit causal in their approach to such parasites even as many grown trees have gone dry. Though affected plants do not die instantly, DDA would do better if the eliminate the parasites once and for all. But after pruning shrubs on the dividers, DDA officials disappear for the next six-seven months. The horticulture department too should look after the matter to save our greenery.”

Known for its definite pattern in horticultural aspects, Dwarka is badly affected with cuscuta. Vijay Dhasmana, naturalist and ecological conservator associated with Gurgaon Biodiversity Park, said, “ Cuscuta is a dangerous parasite plant, marring the beauty of the areas killing the plants. These are parasitic plants which suck their food from the host plants and finally cause the death of host plants. These need to be trimmed and removed at an early stage to save or ensure good health and growth of plants. These should be manually removed by the horticulture department as soon as they are spotted on plants.”  

He further added, “Such parasites spread from one tree to another by carriers. Theses parasites are carried by the birds in their excreta. Though such parasites are sticky in nature the excreta of the birds stick on the branches of the trees and thus cuscuta reproduce itself. These plants are like green thread and mainly affect the arid area’s plants.”