Greens worried over rising footfalls in Lalbagh

Say ecology hurt; call for change of flower show venue

The increasing number of visitors to the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens during flower shows has become a cause of worry for the greens and some officials from the Horticulture department who are now contemplating a change in the venue.

The Mysore Horticulture Society, the organiser of the Republic Day flower show at Lalbagh, may be hoping of a good profit by the end of the flower show this time, but many of them are of the opinion that the show should be stopped at the historic garden  for its good. The Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, with a history of over 250 years, is home to several rare plants and bird species and is the most preferred destiny for bird watchers in the concrete jungle that Bangalore has become over the years. The place, a favourite among morning walkers and joggers is now a subject of discussion due to the nuisance caused by the public at the flower show.

“It has turned a nuisance not only because of the increasing number of visitors, but also due to the garbage strewn everywhere, around the garden. There should be a change in the venue,” says Suresh Kumar, a botanist who visits the show every year.

Many bird watchers and nature lovers too have been voicing the same concern. Dr M B Krishna,  a City-based ornithologist says, “Let them shift it to other agriculture or horticulture areas. There will be better participation by the people. The number of people visiting this place is alarming. On January 26, we heard as many as 2.5 lakh visitors came to Lalbagh and this place is not designed to take this load,” he said.

M Sunil Kumar, an environmentalist, expressing his shock over the sea of people, who thronged the garden, and the piles of garbage around it, said that shows of these kinds should not happen in Lalbagh and the place designated as botanical garden, should be retained as one.

“It is not an amusement park. It is shocking to see the historic place, including the rock (Peninsular Gneiss of the region, dated 2,500 to 3,400 million years) is full of litter,” he said. Even some of the Horticulture department officials, on condition of anonymity, shared similar view saying that the show should be held at more than one place - by identifying a few BBMP parks.

Lalbagh officials said that more than six lakh people visited the park during this flower show. While 2.3 lakh people visited on January 26, it was 1.2 lakh last Sunday.

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