All isn't rosy in this garden

All isn't rosy in  this garden
The Independence Day Flower Show at Lalbagh, one of the most celebrated events in the City, came to an end recently and the results are there for everyone to see. As the pretty flowers displayed in elaborate designs are being taken down, the garbage left behind is not a pretty sight.

From used cups and plates to plastic covers, the entry gate near KH Road welcomes one to a ‘land of rubbish’. “The garbage is just everywhere! It’s there on the walkways and the corners of the little roads. It’s even stuffed into the bushes. One has to be careful while walking on the walkways as they are slippery, thanks to the rains that have mixed with the food waste,” says Radhika N, a nature enthusiast and a regular at the park.

It’s not only visitors like Radhika but also people who survive on small businesses inside the park who are shocked by the amount of garbage this year. While one can see ‘bhutta’ husks and thermocol bowls strewn around on the stone hill near the Kempegowda Tower, there are plastic covers and other waste in the corridors near the Glasshouse that house the stalls. Gunashekara, who sells juice inside the park, insists that his customers throw the cups into the dustbin. He vouches, “If anyone leaves a cup around, I pick it up and dispose it the right way.”

The large number of walkers who come here every morning are also displeased with the waste lying around. “The garbage isn’t a pretty sight. And since I’ve seen this happening after every show, I know that it will take at least a month for the park to get back to normal,” says Jayashree, a resident of Jayanagar who is a regular. She raises a question on the way the show is organised each year. She asks, “Why are vendors allowed into the park despite there being so-called regulations on the same?Also, I can never understand why there are stalls unrelated to gardening or nature in the show. They just add to the waste.”

Visitors like Yogesh, a young professional, feel that more cleaners should be assigned post the show to clear up the garbage. He also adds that there should be a fine imposed on people who don’t dispose waste properly. He says, “This will help in the long run. If vendors or stalls are allowed to be a part of the show, they should also be held responsible for the garbage they generate.”

The authorities have a different story to tell. Gunavantha J, Deputy Director of Horticulture (Garden), says that this year, the show saw around 4.67 lakh visitors and it is natural for a certain amount of garbage to be generated.

 “The last day of the show alone saw tens of thousands of visitors. But the authorities did their share of work on the last night of the show itself. The park will be back to its usual clean self in the next two days,” claims Gunavantha. He adds that apart from the 300 dustbins that are placed in the park, an additional 100 dustbins are added when the show is on. “Of these, more than 30 are of a very large capacity,” he adds.

The authorities also claim that the waste that is generated during the show will be sorted out soon and all the dry waste like foliage, dry twigs, flowers etc will be processed in the composting unit in Lalbagh. “We will use this compost for the trees and plants,” says Gunavantha. He adds that plastic and other non-biodegradable waste will be cleared by the BBMP authorities.
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