Lalbagh walkers discuss civic issues at Janaspandana

Lalbagh walkers discuss civic issues at Janaspandana

Citizenspeak: Seek solution to problem of vendors on pavements

People at How to make it a walkers paradise ‘Janaspandana’, Citizen for Change programme organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani at Lalbagh in Bengaluru on Sunday. Photo by S K Dinesh

Walkers, joggers and the public frequenting the Lalbagh Botanical Garden in the morning are increasingly greeted by piling garbage, scarce toilets, poor walking tracks, illegal vendors and stray dogs.

Taking part in large numbers, they aired their ordeals at the ‘Janaspandana-Citizens for Change’, a civic grievance redressal programme organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani at Lalbagh on Sunday.

Focused on the theme — Lalbagh-How to make it a walker’s paradise? — Janaspandana had discussions on the problems, and the solutions offered by the horticulture department officials.

M Jagadish, department’s joint director for horticulture and parks, Lalbagh, and Chandrashekhar M R, deputy director, Lalbagh, listened to the walkers and assured all possible solutions from their end.

Early morning walkers at the 240-acre lung space, especially the seniors, lamented that the sprawling garden has inadequate toilet facilities. “It’s a known fact that senior citizens are suffering from diabetes and need to visit toilets frequently,” said Kumar Rao, a resident of JP Nagar, adding that toilets in the garden open at 6 am while elders arrive at 5 am.

Seetharam, another resident, suggested deploying e-toilets, a user-friendly and easy-to-maintain sanitation model. Joggers asked about medical facilities in the park, to which Jagadish said ambulances are available. “Emergencies like snake bites and honeybee stings are also treated in the medical room here,” he added.

Jayanagar resident Shivalinge Gowda said several hawkers and vendors are allowed into the park during Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations. “After the event, walkers can’t use the premises, thanks to the trash strewn around,” he said.

Chandrashekhar acknowledged the concern, saying the authorities only allow those selling fruits and vegetables inside the park premises. “Even those selling corn are not allowed inside as the smoke emanating while roasting the corn disturbs the honeybees, which in turn attack the walkers,” he said.

Despite the walkers’ complaints about the garbage menace, especially by food vendors, horticulture department authorities said the plastic ban has helped bring down the amount of solid waste.

“About four tractor loads of plastic waste was generated six months ago. This has been reduced to half a tractor,” said Chandrashekhar.

Answering the garbage issue, Jagadish said the department is using two auto tippers and 30 members of the team to clear the waste in the garden. “We have also built tanks to compost dry leaves and from this, we are generating organic fertilisers. The department sells around 350 tonnes of organic fertiliser annually,” he added.

Responding to the complaints about poor walking tracks and roads, Chandrashekhar said the BBMP will give Rs 5 crore to develop the roads inside the park area.

To M Jagadish, joint director, horticulture and parks, Lalbagh

* Why are there no toilets or e-toilets during flower shows, and why are they not well maintained?

Shivalinge Gowda, resident of Jayanagar

There are newly built toilets at all four gates of Lalbagh. A new toilet complex, operational from 6 am, has been built recently near the Glasshouse with funds given by (freedom fighter-activist) H S Doreswamy. We will bring the e-toilets soon

M Jagadish

* The oldest rock in the park is not well maintained. Several species that once crawled on its surface have completely disappeared


We are coming up with new projects within the park premises to attract and conserve rare and endangered species

M Jagadish

To Chandrashekar M R, deputy director, Lalbagh

* Women walkers, especially housewives, should be granted free entry to Lalbagh

Fathima, resident of Jayanagar

We will direct the security personnel in Lalbagh to allow women in walking suits to enter for free 

Chandrashekar M R 

* Public display of affection is on the increase at Lalbagh. What are you doing about it? 

K Rajanna

Our security guards try and control such incidents. But some of them do not listen. People should understand and behave appropriately 

Chandrashekar M R 


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