A ‘Nellie Flower’ plant that is believed to be the source of an estimated 10 million annual deaths in India has been discovered, officials said.
The discovery of the plant has prompted a flurry of activity in the north-eastern state of Bihar and a local media outlet said a number of people had planted it in the town of Shillong in the district of Panna in Bihar.
A local media report said that authorities were investigating the plant’s origin and said they were looking for the plant to find out whether it has been used to kill people.
“We have discovered it, but we have not yet been able to identify its source,” Shillungi police officer Ashok Sharma told AFP news agency.
“The plant is growing in the middle of the village and it is being cultivated in the centre of the town,” he added.
“It was found after some residents started spraying it with insecticides.”
After the first day, we had to destroy the entire plant, as it is very close to our houses and schools.
“India’s largest city, Mumbai, has been hit by a spate of dengue fever cases in recent weeks, and authorities have launched a crackdown on the plants, fearing the disease could spread to the rest of the country.
But experts said the discovery was unlikely to be a cause for panic, saying the plant could have been planted in a nearby village where people are still using it.”
This is a very unusual occurrence in that it appears to have originated from the neighbouring village,” said Keshav Mishra, a scientist at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
This could be a case of an accidental planting, and we do not know what is causing the plant there.”‘
Crazy’ plant discoveredThe discovery comes after Bihar state government banned the use of insecticides on the plant and banned the planting of any such plants in a bid to protect the country’s biodiversity.”
Bihar has no authority to prohibit the use and planting of anything like this plant,” a government official told AFP.”
So, in the absence of any authority to do so, the authorities have taken all necessary measures to control the spread of the disease.
“In October, the government banned any cultivation of the plants in any parts of the state and said the authorities would be able to take action against anyone found planting the plants.”
If a person is found to be planting these plants and it becomes a problem for the people, then the authorities can take appropriate action,” the official added.