Helping the CR win accolades, a horticulturist takes pride in the gardens he maintains
Horticulturist BB Thorat at Central Raiwlay's Nirmal Park in Byculla. Pic/Bipin Kokate
At a time when Mumbai's green spaces are an endangered species, a horticulturist is helping the Central Railway (CR) win award after award for its gardens. Meet BB Thorat, the man with the green thumb employed by the CR's Mumbai Division. Along with 48 staff members, Thorat has been maintaining the CR's 138 gardens along the railway stations.
Through his care and supervision, these gardens have won awards over those maintained by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), other government agencies and corporate companies.
The CR's gardens are spread over 42,000 sq metres of land between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and goes all the way till Igatpuri, Roha and Lonavala stations. The recent award that this team won was on March 5-6 at a flower show at Navi Mumbai.
"The gardens at these separate locations compete in 50 different categories," said Thorat. "We have been winning the Best Garden Award [conferred by BMC's Tree Authority] for the last 25 years, where GM Bungalow at Malabar Hill competes".
Combined, there are 35,000 plants and shrubs that are not more than 7 feet, 5,000 plus flowering plants and trees and lawns extending 15,000 sq.mtrs. While the gardens wear a lovely mantle of green through the monsoon, maintaining them through the year is a challenge.
"We have prepared a schedule for our staff who water the garden every day, check for weeds and insects each week, and spray insecticides and use fertilisers and manure every month," added Thorat.