Karnataka

Lalbagh in a mess after record turnout for floral extravaganza

Lalbagh Botanical Garden looked like a dump yard with rubbish strewn all over the lawns, walkways, pathways, lakeside and every nook and corner of the 240-acre heritage garden. 

Lalbagh Botanical Garden looked like a dump yard with rubbish strewn all over the lawns, walkways, pathways, lakeside and every nook and corner of the 240-acre heritage garden.  | Photo Credit: Mini Tejaswi

A hawker said he had received no instruction whatsoever from the authority on where to deposit the waste, and therefore, he too had left the garbage out in the open.

A hawker said he had received no instruction whatsoever from the authority on where to deposit the waste, and therefore, he too had left the garbage out in the open. | Photo Credit: Mini Tejaswi

A day after the Independence Day flower show concluded with record turnout and revenue, Lalbagh Botanical Garden, on Tuesday morning, looked like a garbage dump yard with rubbish strewn all over the lawns, walkways, pathways and lakeside of the 240 acre heritage garden.

On Tuesday morning, walkers at the garden were welcomed by piles of plastic/paper plates, glasses and cups, empty tins of aerated drinks, plastic water bottles, prohibited polythene bags, food waste etc. Ironically, the flower show, which made its comeback after two pandemic-hit years, was meant to be be a zero-waste, zero-plastic, and zero-littering event this time.

“I have been a regular walker in Lalbagh for the last 30 years and garbage is a ritual after every flower show. But I’ve not seen so much garbage, so ruthlessly thrown all over, ever before. I looked hard to find a clean patch to walk on but in vain. The authority seems to be letting our prestigious legacy perish,’‘ wondered Ganesh V, a Basavanagudi resident.

This year’s show saw record crowds; over 3.5 lakh people visited the show on Monday alone, earning a revenue of ₹90 lakh. The Horticulture Department, which had spent ₹2.3 crore, earned ₹3.3 crore in 10 days, the highest collection in the history of the show.

“The department should have given vendors clear instructions on how to manage, pack and deposit their waste responsibly before they left the garden. What an assault on the garden these flower shows are, we are so saddened to see its condition. The garden takes many months to recover after each of these shows,’‘ lamented Bhaskar and Vani, a couple who have been walking in Lalbagh for over 30 years now.

Homemaker Sapna Kunj, another walker, said, “It is not a big deal for the Horticulture Department to install cameras and fine each and every visitor who throws rubbish and harms the garden. But sadly, the department itself is not aware they are dealing with a delicate and fragile property like a heritage garden.’‘

Garbage dumped in and around Lalbagh after the heavy turnout over the  weekend to witness annual flower show at Lalbagh on Independance Day in Bengaluru.

Garbage dumped in and around Lalbagh after the heavy turnout over the weekend to witness annual flower show at Lalbagh on Independance Day in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Mini Tejeswi

M. Jagadish, Joint Director, Horticulture Department, admitted that the trash generated this time was in high quantities given the record turnout. “For seven days, we had achieved our litter-free goal 100%. But the last three days saw uncontrollable crowd. In fact, on the last day, we ended up allowing over 1.65 lakh people without tickets and checking. We had 1.5 truckload of litter and biowaste - leaf, grass cutting, etc. From next time, we will make plans to employ more people to keep a check, encourage online ticketing, and exercise more control at the entry,” he said.


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Printable version | Sep 7, 2022 2:57:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/annual-flower-show-an-assault-on-lalbagh-say-walkers/article65774324.ece