For IIM, state to lose 1,128 trees, seed farm, 1,010 fertile

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
While opening of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Dhaula Kuan, 17 km from Paonta Sahib, has brought cheer to residents of adjoining areas who are optimistic that it will provide them sources for income generation, scientists of the Hill Agriculture Research and Extension Centre (HAREC) are a worried lot.
The government has allocated 1,010.5 bighas for the IIM which include 809.13 bighas of cultivable land of the Agriculture Department, 74.2 bighas of the Horticulture Department and 126.10 bighas of agriculture university, Palampur, and a seed multiplying farm are located on it.
The biggest breeder seed farm, started by first Chief minister of Himachal YS Parmar to give boast to farming, produces wheat, gram and sarson (mustard) seeds for rabi and mash, paddy, toria and til seeds for kharif which are provided to the Agriculture Department for multiplication and further supply to farmers, said officials of HAREC.
Last year 250 quintals of wheat seeds of eight varieties and 25 quintals of mash were produced at the farm, they said. Officials said though the land had been given for the IIM, no alternate land has been provided to the institute, which is also a nucleus of a large number of farm research activities.
According to an estimate, about 1,128 plants and trees will be cut which include sal, ched, shisham, teak, ucalyptus, kher, peeple and bamboo. Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) state president SS Gill said, “We welcome the IIM but the government should identify barren land for the project as diversion of cultivable land will be detrimental to development of agriculture”. The land was given for breeding seeds and agriculture research but now it was being given to the institute. The classes for the first batch of postgraduate programme at IIM-Sirmaur have started at Paonta Sahib and 22 students have been admitted. The classes are temporarily being held at the hired building of Himachal Institute Technology, Paonta Sahib.