All vehicle movement banned inside Lalbagh

All vehicle movement banned inside Lalbagh

Officials and staffs parking at Lalbagh in Bengaluru on Wednesday. DH photo

The Horticulture Department has banned all government vehicles from Lalbagh Botanical Garden, introducing electrical vehicles and bicycles for movement within the city’s premier lung space. 

The decision to ban polluting motor vehicles, including those from the government, would mean the department is coming good on its promise to make the garden a walker’s paradise.

Starting last week, officials are parking the vehicles outside and are either riding the buggies or cycling to their offices.

The vehicle ban was one of the demands the citizens, walkers and joggers at the park had made during the DH-PV Janaspandana event organised in November 2016 at Lalbagh.

Assuring action, Horticulture Minister M C Managuli had then directed officials to enforce the ban in phases. Officials said all vehicles, including the director’s, would be stopped at the KH Road (Double Road) entrance. 

“We’ve tendered out the buggy services to a private company. Three buggies are being operated now. The department will pay Rs 1.25 lakh per month for the service, since this is done in public interest, and ensure the park is vehicle-free,” Dr M Jagadeesh, Joint-Director (Horticulture), told DH.

The department has also bought 45 cycles by spending Rs 2 lakh, helping citizens visit various offices inside the Lalbagh. “On entering the park, visitors to the department should report at the kiosk near the parking area. They can use bicycles if they’re comfortable, or use the buggy service,” Jagadeesh added.

The department has also asked all its staffers, including those on patrolling duties, those maintaining the electrical points and security personnel, to use bicycles.

“We’ve only allowed emergency vehicles like compactors for garbage collection and ambulances, which would only move at a certain time. Otherwise, the ban is total,” Jagadeesh clarified. 

Officials at the department admitted that the new system was challenging in the beginning, but they gradually got used to it.

“No (engine) noise or honking. The park is serene and calm. Visitors have been positive about the ban. Everyone likes the eco-friendly initiative,” said a junior official.