Earlier during British period, the plants of various utility had been planted near roadsides with a view that a person during his traveling may get benefited in various ways by these plants. They used to select plants based on their different utilities such as, food, minor economic uses and minor forest produces as well as for shade purposes. It was also the aim of those people for selecting the plants that the plant products might be available in different seasons of the year. Themselves developed this idea on the basis of their indigenous knowledge.

People even today appreciate such type of plantation but now a days, Government agencies or other organisations are not keeping this view in their mind. The are pressurized for plantation but not for a selective one. They are more interested to plant those saplings which grow faster so that they may show the results within a couple of years without taking the consideration whether plants are really useful or not.

In the present report, we report as many as 1724 individual plants belonging to 24 families growing near roadsides of Chhindwara town. Their status viz., Healthy, Diseased, misused or dying has been studied.

Chhindwara district, in the south-west of Jabalpur Revenue Division, is situated on the Satpura Plateau in the South-Central part of the Madhya Pradesh State (the Central State of India) and lies between latitudes 21°23' and 22°49' North and the longitudes 78°10' and 79°24' East. Chhindwara district is gifted with abundance in natural resources, specially minerals, forests and agriculture. The Headquarter town of the district, Chhindwara is situated on the Bodri Stream, a tributary of the Kulbehra River. It stands picturesquely on the open Satpura plateau at an elevation of about 677 meters, flanked by ranges of low hills. With a comparatively light rainfall, the climate is very salubrious and pleasant. The name of the place is derived from the Chhind or date-palm tree.

The Nagpur road that separates the Civil Lines from the rest of the town traverses Chhindwara. Another main road, running from the district office to the railway station, similarly traverses the town. A circular road runs round it passing by the hill of Dharamtekri. With several beautiful roads in the civil line area, the Chhindwara-Nagpur road is picturesque. One road radiates from it and reaches the Collectors bungalow. It is extremely beautiful, shaded by huge old banyan trees on both sides; this region is known as Badwan today. Near about is another road, lined by old and bulky tamarind trees on two sides. Yet another road is bordered by Shisham trees (Dalbergia Sisso). In part the area is well wooded.

Surveys were carried out by the students of MSc Previous Botany during Sep’ 02- Jan’ 03 under my supervision. Plants collected from road-sides have been deposited in the department of botany.

Important findings:

There were 1724 individual plants belonging to 24 Angiospermic families found near the road-sides of Chhindwara town. Among these, 1663 plants were found healthy (84.86%). The total number of diseased plants was 94 (5.45%) whereas, 116 plants (6.95%) are being misused. There were 47 plants (2.72%) which are at the verge of death. Mangifera indica was found in maximum numbers (249) whereas, plant species like, Morus indica, Ficus glomerata, Moringa pterigosperma, Pithecolobium dulce were among the least found species. Moraceae is a dominant family followed by Caesalpinaceae (5 & 4 species respectively). plants like Albezia procera, Grevillia robusta, Moringa pterosperma, Morus indica, Terminalia belerica and T. catappa are found to be 100% healthy followed by Eucalyptus lanceolatus (98.78%), Ficus bengalensis (97.27%), Emblica officinalis (97.22%) and Thevetia nerifolia (95%). The percentage of most diseased plants were found in Cordia myxa (37.50%) followed by Madhuca indica (18.18%), Michelia champka and Phoenix sylvestris (14.28%).

The plant species which is being most misused appears to be Ficus glomerata (33.33%), Mangifera indica (17.26%) and Bambusa arundinacia (17.24%) respectively. Plants like Madhuca indica, Calotropis procera and Delonix regia are dying in large numbers (15.15%, 14.28% and 8.51%). Most of the plants found diseased or dying were present in thickly populated areas like Gole Ganj, Gandhi Ganj, Gulabra, Diwanchipura, Mohan Nagar and Sanichara Bazaar. This may be because of vehicular or related pollution. Automobiles emit CO2, SO2, NO2 which cause air pollution and are harmful for plants as well as human beings. Plants have been misused for holding banners, advertisements, hoardings and sign boards etc. near market places, schools and colleges. Healthy plant species were found in the areas of scattered human populations. These include: Circular Road, Parasia Road, Badwan, Dharam Tekri, Civil Lines and TB Sanotorium Road etc.


In most of the places with dense population, trees have been cut for the colonization. There is need to reestablish plants at road-sides. The saplings should be provided with metal tree guards, which are neat and ornamental and can be removed from one tree to another as required. Trees like Gulmohur, Mahua, Mango, Amaltash, as best shade giving trees should be planted.

It is need of the hour to prepare a plan for the city. It should be so designed that the children and youth can play an important role in the development process. Unfortunately, not only are we facing the problem of pollution, the country is also passing through a crisis of character. In this alarming situations, there is still a ray of hope because the children and youth have maintained their morale. Environmental pollution, by itself is not a problem, if we improve our total lifestyle, we can avoid pollution.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Deepak Acharya, www.patalkot.com