A walk in the mess

A walk in the mess

Persisting problems

A walk in the mess

Although Lalbagh Botanical Garden has its regular walkers and joggers, the sprawling lung space also has its fair share of problems with the increasing number of stray dogs, dumped garbage and lack of proper security.

Visitors have to battle with all this every day. Metrolife interacted with regular walkers at Lalbagh to understand the problems they face and whether anything can be
done to tackle it.  

Is it just lack of awareness or plain disregard that is preventing the authorities from attending to the problem?

“There are many issues one faces regularly at Lalbagh. People must be told not to bring food items inside the park because this will lead to stray dogs. We’re lucky that there have been no adverse incidents but these stray dogs are a nuisance.

And even if there are security guards, there is absolutely no respect for them,” says Suryaprakash Gowda, an exhibition and space designer.

While people continue to bring in food to be fed to dogs, monkeys and birds in the park, little do they think about the safety aspects.

Jayashree, a special educator and a resident of Jayanagar, says, “I walk in the park
everyday and I see these dogs trailing people who come with food into the park. Since these dogs have become used to being fed, those who try to clear waste bags are followed by the dogs and the chances of dogs attacking them are high.”

She adds that this situation persists because there are no security guards in the morning at the park. “I go for a walk every morning by 5.45 or six and I am back by 8.45 am. I’ve visited the place at 10 am and still I’ve not seen any security guards at that hour. Other walkers, like me, are worried about the security in the park. Most of us walk alone and tend to be very alert,” adds Jayashree.

Sunil Narayan, who runs a software and hardware company, raises other issues seen at the place.

“There’s a lot of garbage in the park. Garbage bins are strewn across, which could
be because of these dogs searching the bins for food. The park stinks and this is making the whole experience of walking in Lalbagh rather unpleasant.”

Question the authorities about these issues at the park and they have their side of the story to tell.

Deputy director of Lalbagh H M Krishnappa says, “We have 20 guards on duty on a shift basis. And we have deputed them in all the sensitive areas around the park like the topiary, bandstand, glass house and at all entry gates and other spots. It’s impossible to depute guards in each and every spot in this vast area. Moreover, we don’t have the finances to employ more guards.”

Ask him about the waste brought in by walkers and the issue of stray dogs, and he says, “I’ve been warning people and it has decreased tremendously. Stray dogs
have also decreased. In November 2010, there were almost 140 dogs in the vicinity and the number has reduced to 40 or 50. We can’t drive them away but other steps
to keep them in check are constantly being done.”

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