TMC to test Ayur plants for anti-cancer properties

Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) plans to establish a medicinal garden on approximately 18 acres of forest land in Khalapur, Raigad, to cultivate 20-25 varieties of ayurvedic plants for testing their anti-cancer properties. Dr. Rajendra Badwe, TMC director, aims to commence randomized control clinical trials for these potential medicines within the next two-and-a-half years. The selected plants will undergo rigorous Western-style clinical tests to explore their application in oncology.

The area provides a suitable environment for the cultivation of these plants, which require a consistent water supply throughout the year. Furthermore, TMC has received around 20 acres of land on the reservoir's opposite bank to construct a hybrid hospital that will integrate Ayurveda and allopathy into cancer treatment. The proposed hospital, expected to be operational within two years, has received an in-principle approval of INR 300 crore ($40 million) from the Department of Atomic Energy.

TMC has already acquired two acres of land in Donvat village for similar purposes, where cultivation of a few medicinal plants began recently. Despite the union environment ministry initially rejecting TMC's request to use the forest land for research, the state government has appealed to reconsider the proposal, highlighting the national importance of the project and the land's suitability. The final approval for the land's utilization is pending.

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