Centre puts Neelakurinji on the list of protected plants

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Centre puts Neelakurinji on the list of protected plants

Recently the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has listed Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) in the list of protected plants under Schedule-III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Benefits of Conservation:

  • This decision of the Central Government will help in saving the plants of Neelakurinji.
  • Those uprooting or destroying the plant will be fined Rs 25,000 and imprisoned for three years.
  • As per the order, cultivation and possession of Neelakurinji is not permitted.
  • From Neelakurinji in the Western Ghats to the bloom of the Karwi flower in the Sahyadri range, travelers trek to view these seasonal flowers.
  • In the recent past, when Neelakurinji flowers were reported to have blossomed in a particular area, a large number of tourists flocked to that place.
  • Destruction and uprooting of Neelakurinji plants is a major threat to the areas where this flower grows.
  • Usually the Chief Wildlife Warden makes an announcement to the effect that destroying Neelakurinji plants and flowers is an offense punishable under the Wildlife Protection Act and action will be taken accordingly. Now as per the new order, the department will take action against those who uproot or destroy Neelakurinji in forest area, protected area and national parks.

Neelakurinji Plants

  • The Neelakurinji plant was endemic to a small part of the Western Ghats from the Mangaladevi hills to the Nilgiri hills.
  • In the Western Ghats region, about 70 varieties of Neelakurinji plants have been identified. The most popular Neelakurinji is Strobilanthes kunthiana which blooms once in 12 years. However, some other rare varieties of Neelakurinji are also found in the Western Ghats region.
  • Neelakurinji recently bloomed over a vast area on the Kallippara hills at Santhanpara in Idukki.
  • An expert team had identified six varieties of the plant in the mountains.
  • The Eravikulam National Park, near Munnar, is known for extensive flowering of Kurinji. Here now it is expected to bloom in 2030.

Source – The Hindu

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