New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) Municipal authorities have begun a process to cultivate tulips in a special temperature-controlled chamber at Delhi's Lodhi Garden with bulbs imported from the Netherlands last year, officials said on Tuesday.
Lt Governor VK Saxena had directed the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to ensure indigenous seeding and production of tulip saplings with an aim of not only reducing import costs and augmenting their availability but also boosting the local floriculture industry, they added.
The NDMC established the Tulip Growth Cum Storage Chamber -- a one-of-its-kind unit in India -- in April, the officials said.
It was decided to fabricate a proper structure for the preservation and the propagation of harvested bulbs, including tulips, on a trial basis, for future use in the NDMC area as the conditions/temperature in the Delhi region are not suitable for multiplication/production of tulips.
Accordingly, the NDMC took the initiative to immediately establish a temperature-controlled unit at Lodhi Garden. The Tulip Growth Cum Storage Chamber includes a cold-storage unit with the capacity to store around 50,000 fresh bulbs in controlled temperatures that vary between 2 and 20 degrees Celsius.
The facility also includes a tulip propagation chamber with the facility to grow around 2,000 bulbs. The capacity can be increased to 4,000 bulbs with a temperature-controlled environment of 10-22 degrees Celsius.
Around 2,000 bulbs of sizes between 8 and 10 centimetres were harvested from the NDMC area after blooming in February-March and stored in the chambers at 15-20 degrees Celsius till July, an NDMC official explained.
"Thereafter, the bulbs were kept under temperatures of 5-6 degrees Celsius for 10 weeks till the first week of October. Around the first week of October, the bulbs were put in a production chain by sowing those in growth chambers at 17-20 degrees Celsius with the aim to increase the size to over 10 centimetres," said the official.
The tulips have started growing from November 1 and the NDMC has been able to achieve good flowering, he said.
"Since the (goal of the) trial is to get bulbs of proper size, the flowers will need to be pruned. The results are positive and encouraging. The NDMC has been able to achieve good flowering from last year's imported bulbs," the official added. PTI SLB SZM