A slow bloom of visitors at Lalbagh

Floral fest

nature’s bounty: The colourful flowers on display at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens drew about 60,000 visitors on Sunday. dh PhotoWhile the organisers made Rs 1.09 crore during the show last year, they expect a 25 per cent jump in the revenue this year. If the turnout on Sunday is anything to go by, they may not only reach the target but even exceed it. The show drew about 60,000 visitors on Sunday and the department made Rs 16.8 lakh in the form of entry fees.

On the inaugural day, the show received more than 11,000 visitors and 20,670 visitors made it to the show on Saturday. The rain, however, has been a dampener and an officer at the ticketing counter said they easily lost out on at least Rs 10 lakh over the weekend due to the downpour. But they are hopeful that the week ahead would set the cash registers ringing.

Lalbagh Gardens’ Deputy Director Krishnappa said: “We are hoping the rain will not play spoilsport this week. Last year, we received about five lakh visitors. This year, with the Lotus Temple as the attraction, we have set a target of eight lakh.”

Attractions

The 23-foot floral Bahai Lotus Temple within the Glass House, 10 kinds of temperate flowers, driftwood arrangement and 265 total varieties of flowers –– 90 more than the previous year –– are just one part of the experiences for visitors.

With more than 45 stalls selling seeds and various gardening tools, exhibition of vegetable carvings and light music performances, Lalbagh beckons people of all ages. Special packages for schoolchildren have also been provided.

But there are problems that visitors have to deal with.

Lalbagh, spread across 240 acres, has only three toilets and they are badly maintained.
Nisha Rani, a visitor, complained: “It is a paid service, yet the place stinks and is very dirty. The rain has made the situation worse.”

Further, there are no facilities for the elderly and the disabled to go around the show. Sharing his experience, 66-year-old P Amaranath, said: “The bigger the crowd, the higher the shoving and pushing. For people like us, it gets difficult to get through even the ticketing counter.”

M Jagadeesh, secretary of the Mysore Horticulture Society, which has reserved an eco-vehicle for the disabled and elderly, agreed that it was difficult but promised that they would look into it next year.

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