Activists oppose proposed construction of multiplex and convention centre

The serene environs of Botanical Gardens on Sunday reverberated with the slogans of ‘Botanical garden bachao' as many residents protested against the proposed construction of multiplex and convention centre in the garden premises.

Holding placards and banners, Lumbini SLN Springs Welfare Association conducted a rally from Kothuguda to the garden. Irrespective of age, children and elders staged a demonstration at the garden against axing of trees in the garden. In the name of promoting eco-tourism, authorities have allotted land to a private company and permitted construction of 12-screen multiplex and a convention centre in the garden. Already, many trees are being pulled down and the garden is slowly being transformed into a concrete jungle, alleged Lumbini SLN Springs Welfare Association president V. Venkateswara Rao.

Vanishing peacocks

Construction works had commenced in July and since then the number of peacocks in the garden was dwindling. If there were about 50 peacocks once, there are hardly 10 left now, charged Mr. Rao. “We are not against promotion of eco-tourism but how can authorities permit malls, convention centre in the garden? It is the only green space in the vicinity. Authorities should scrap the allotments and stop defacement of the garden,” appealed A.V. Reddy, a member of the association.

He feared that it could become a trend and similar constructions may be allowed in other parks too. “The ambience inside the garden was good and that's the reason why I used to come all the way from Shilparamam for jogging. Now, all the jogging tracks are damaged and not many are interested in visiting the garden,” said Sharad Bagri, a software employee.

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