The Punjab Government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to eradicate the lantana camara a noxious weed, which was a major threat to the forest cover in Punjab. Lantana has been a difficult weed to control by chemical and cultural method.Talking about the plan prepared by the Government of Punjab, Chunni Lal Bhagat, Minister for Forest and Wild Life Preservation said that state government has signed a project namely “Use of Mycoherbicide for the Management of the Weed Lantana Camara: a threat to resurgence of Forest in Punjab” worth Rs.60 lakh to Thapar University, Patiala. Under the guidance of Associate Professor Dr. Sanjana Sexena, the project would be completed within three years.In India, only a limited research has been carried out to control of lantana camara which was threat to resurgence of forest in Punjab as well as other states namely Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala.
In Punjab lantana was threatening the Shivalik forest range thereby causing the destruction of the forest flora as well as fauna, hence biological control of this weed is very important to preserve the forest of Punjab.The Minister further said that the Shivalik Forest in the districts of Ropar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur have been specifically affected by invasion of lantana camara. Siswan-Dulwan area, Ropar, spread in 2044 hectare in Shivalik was a high biopersity area and the major problem is proliferation of various species of lantana.
Another area of shivalik exhibiting invasion by lantana is Narangpur Forest area in Ropar. In Gurdaspur district 34.9% loss in Forest cover has been attributed to lantana invasion. Till now according to an initial survey a forest area of over 500 sq. km have been lost in Punjab due to lantana camara invasion and this should continue have extended if remained unchecked. Minister further said that it possess a serious threat in resurgence of forests if established in the forest ecosystem. Each plant puts out up to 12000 seeds; each can remain dormant up to 11 years and germinate faster if exposed to smoke.