Rock Garden project at Lalbagh shelved

The State government has dropped the controversial Rock Garden and Musical Fountain projects at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.

In a written reply to Congress legislator N A Haris in the Legislative Assembly, Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa said the projects have been shelved.

In the year 2010, the Horticulture Department had prepared a blueprint to develop a musical fountain and introduce laser show at the foot of the Kempegowda Rock in Lalbagh. It was also planned to convert the monolithic rock formation into a garden, from where visitors can watch the laser show, mainly depicting the history of Bangalore.

The blueprint was designed on the lines of the famous Sentosa Island of Singapore. The musical fountain was estimated to cost Rs 27.5 crore, while the cost of the rock garden was projected to be Rs 29.30 crore. The then BJP government had also taken steps to tender these projects.

However, the plan met with stiff public criticism. The department had proposed to cut several trees in the Lalbagh gardens to pave way for the project. Besides, environmentalists had expressed fear that laser show would damage the sensitive eco-system of the century-old garden. The Congress government has now decided not to take up the projects.

However, the minister said the department had taken up the work on construction of a parking lot at Lalbagh, but the court had stayed the project.

The minister said 396 new species of plants have been introduced in Lalbagh in the last five years. Lalbagh now has a total of 2,250 species of plants. This apart, the department and the Bangalore Development Authority have jointly taken up construction of 220-meter compound around the gardens, a pathway to Dhanvantri forest and a joggers’ path, the minister added.

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