On Saturday, 18 November 2023, the Visakhapatnam division of the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department launched the Eastern Ghats Biodiversity Centre (EGBC) near PM Palem, which houses an Orchidarium, Ficatarium, and other attractions. Spread across 30 acres, the EGBC, an eco-tourism spot, aims to highlight the diverse range of floral species the region houses.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Eastern Ghats Biodiversity Centre, Y Madhusudhana Reddy, Chief Wildlife Warden of Andhra Pradesh, expressed, “This centre will provide a great opportunity for the public of Visakhapatnam to learn and rejuvenate amidst green surroundings.” This facility houses three parks- Aushadha Vanam, Karthik Vanam, and Rashi Vanam- alongside a forest produce processing unit.
The processing unit will employ tribal women to make eco-friendly plant ports from elephant and cow dung as well as products from forests for public consumption. A Bambusetum with 25 bamboo species and a cafe-cum-library with the theme of nature conversation are under the pipeline.
Expressing that the EGBC will emerge as a tourism hotspot, Anant Shankar IFS, DFO, Visakhapatnam, said, “We will be developing this centre further and opening up more facilities in the coming months.” He added that the public can take morning walks, leisurely strolls, and learn and immerse in nature at the EGBC. The Orchidarium mimics a rainforest and showcases the diverse range of Orchids and associated species in a controlled environment. Similarly, the Fictarium consists of 25 Ficus species from different parts of the country.
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