East Bengaluru's Lalbagh dream inches closer to reality

East Bengaluru's Lalbagh dream inches closer to reality

Eleven years in the making, a Lalbagh-style botanical garden at Kannamangala near Mahadevapura is set to open soon

The mini-Lalbagh will have all the facilities required to attract daily joggers and visitors. Credit: DH Photo

East Bengaluru’s decade-long dream for a big lung space is inching closer to reality.

Eleven years in the making, a Lalbagh-style botanical garden at Kannamangala near Mahadevapura is set to open soon.

The garden has been developed over 170 acres within the Horticulture Department’s sprawling Elite Coconut Seed Farm.

On Monday, Minister for Forest, Kannada and Culture Aravind Limbavali reviewed the progress of the garden and announced that the lung space would open to the public "very soon".

“The park will have a joggers’ path, a high-fence compound wall, and drinking water, toilet and irrigation facilities for plants. The civil works are in the final stage. Once they are done, the garden will be opened to the public,” said Limbavali, who is also the Mahadevapura MLA.

During the tenure of Dr M H Marigowda, considered the father of horticulture in India, coconut species from 15 countries were brought to Bengaluru and planted at the farm in Kannamangala. But with rapid urbanisation and exploitation of groundwater, the farm has lost its water sources. As a result, the horticulture department struggled to water the cocoa palm trees in the summer.

 

In 2010, the-then BJP government announced plans to set up four mini Lalbaghs in different parts of the city. The dream for East Bengaluru is being realised after 11 years.

According to horticulture department officials, about Rs 4.5 crore has been spent so far on creating the facilities for visitors at Kannamangala. The civil works will take another three months, they said.

Landscaping

With the entire park located amidst coconut palms, horticulture department officials have planned landscaping by adopting the method of inter-cropping, mixed cropping and multi-storied cropping involving areca nut and other fruit-bearing trees.

In addition, other species, shade trees, herbal and thematic gardens will also be set up within the park in the next two to three years. Officials hope that the garden would not have to face a shortage of water as five mini-ponds have been set up to harvest rainwater. There is also a three-kilometre-long jogging track.

Horticulture Department Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar Kataria, Director Fouzia Taranum, Joint Director Dr M Jagadeesh, Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner J Manjunath and Tahsildar Ajith Rai among other officials attended the review meeting.