No photo shoots in Lalbagh, Cubbon Park

No photo shoots in Lalbagh, Cubbon Park

The Horticulture Department has banned professional cameras, flash lights and reflectors in Cubbon Park and Lalbagh.

The department says the decision was taken to ensure that photo shoots did not inconvenience visitors and pose a risk to flora and fauna in two of its largest parks in the city.    

This decision was taken after a recent meeting of officials, experts and members of the horticulture committee.

The move has not gone down well with photographers and visitors  who frequent the two prime lung spaces for photo shoots.

Both locations are popular spots for various photo shoots and theme-based photo opportunities like pre-wedding, baby shower, birthdays, social parties, off-beat, women only, boys only and post wedding shoots.

"We have banned the use of flash, professional cameras, tripods, reflectors, batteries and other related items inside Lalbagh. This has been done for the first time as committee members pointed out that honey bees get distracted and have a tendency to attack visitors. This decision is being strictly followed in Lalbagh and will be extended to Cubbon Park also," said M Jagadeesh, deputy director, Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

The staff has been directed to ensure that people, especially those wearing strong fragrant perfumes, are not allowed to sit on benches near trees where there are honeycombs. This is for their own safety. The reason being honey bees consider strong smells also a threat. He, however, said entry of people with strong perfumes cannot be restricted.

Another official, seeking anonymity, said the department was contemplating restrictions on the movement of women wearing floral garlands on their hair around trees which have honeycombs so that honey bees are not attracted to the flowers.

Meanwhile, photographers and citizens point out that the department must take measures to manage honey bees. Restricting people is not the solution, they say.

Ajeesh F Rawther from Lemon Films said the department should instead control the menace of stray dogs and "indecent" behaviour of some couples inside the parks.

Lalbagh and Cubbon Park are beautiful places for photo shoots and there should be no ban on photography.

Various photographers from the city are talking to officials who have been told that the ban has also been sought by joggers, elders and women who are worried that photographers may capture them in their frames.

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