Lack of facilities at Big Banyan Tree irks MLA

Congress MLA S T Somashekar vented his anger at the tourism department headed by Priyank Kharge for not providing basic amenities to visitors at the Big Banyan Tree in Ramohalli, Bengaluru Urban district.

Somashekar, in whose Assembly constituency the tree is located, had tabled questions in this regard in the Legislative Assembly, on Thursday.

The MLA said Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree) is nearly 400 years old and during weekends, not less than 50,000 to 60,000 people visit it. There are no toilets, drinking water and seating arrangements for visitors.

He said he has been trying to get in touch with the officer in charge of the tree to request him to take up development of the area for the past for years.

“But I have failed to trace him. I have handed over a letter to the minister too. I had suggested to the government to acquire land in a three km radius around the tree for taking up development activities,” Somashekar said.

In his reply, Kharge said there is no exclusive officer in charge of the Big Banyan Tree.  The tourism department itself takes care of it. The Tourism Advisory Committee would prepare a master plan for its development this year, he added.

The MLA said, “Allow me to develop it. I will spend from my MLA’s fund.” However, the minister did not react.
DH News Service

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