Islamabad - Allama Iqbal Open University inaugurated botanical garden to promote academic research in gardening and horticulture sector, said an official on Saturday.

Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof. Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that having a wide range of plants will augment beauty and research environment of the university.

The botanical garden to work as open lab will have documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education.

It comprises a greenhouse as well that has been named as Gulzar House, dedicated to a gardener Gulzar Ahmed who had lost his life while doing his normal work in wake of honey-bee attack in May this year.

Dr Shahid Siddiqui termed the garden as value-added addition to the prevailing research facilities in the university. We will maintain its quality to get the best results, he added. He appreciated garden’s supervisor Abdul Sattar and his colleagues for their hard work in developing a deserted land in a befitting shape.

According to In-charge Horticulture Department Fozia Anjum, the garden carries 3,000 flower, fruit and vegetable plants of 120 varieties.

Earlier, Dean Sciences Dr Naghama Rashid spoke about the academic achievements of the University in the recent years, particularly in the research sector, praising high the Vice Chancellor for his visionary approach in making the AIOU a most vibrant educational institution of the country.