A day after flower show, Lalbagh reduced into dumpyard

The authorities said that heavy footfalls over the last two days resulted in garbage strewn around
Last Updated 17 August 2022, 02:39 IST

The 2022 edition of the Lalbagh Flower Show was announced with claims of being litter-free and assurances of efficient waste management. A visit to the garden a day after the show revealed a grim story. The iconic garden was filled with paper, and plastic waste and dotted with garbage dumps across its famed lawns.

While most of the plastic waste consisted of food wrappers, a large amount of plastic and glass bottles, paper pieces and banana leaves used to pack food could also be seen.

The authorities said that heavy footfalls over the last two days resulted in garbage strewn around.

“During the first seven days of the show, we made sure that every visitor’s bag was checked to ensure that they do not carry food and drinks in plastic covers or bottles. However, on Sunday we had close to 1.5 lakh visitors, and Monday we had 3.5 lakh visitors. Hence, we could not conduct proper checks,” the Joint Director of Lalbagh Botanical Gardens’ Horticulture Department Dr M Jagadeesh said.

A few vendors who had set up stalls in the premises had also left behind large amounts of waste. Visitors who walked in on Tuesday were in for a shock seeing the garbage lying around. “We understand that the number of visitors was huge but considering how popular the show is, the authorities should have anticipated it and planned accordingly,” Manjula N, who visited Lalbagh on Tuesday, said.

Jagadeesh said nearly 130 workers are cleaning the premises. “They worked till 3 am today and at least two truckloads of waste were cleared. About 80% of the waste has been picked up. We will make sure the entire garden is cleaned by Wednesday,” he said.

However, cleaners working on the ground said they would need another three days to clean the place. “They have littered the entire place. Wrappers and paper pieces are scattered even on the grass,” Jayamma, a worker, said.

N S Ramakanth, a member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table, who was overlooking waste management at the venue said a “behavioral change” among the public could address the garbage issue.

“We tried our best to ensure better waste management. We appointed marshals and volunteers, took an undertaking from the vendors and tried all possible ways to ensure cleanliness. However, people should also be responsible and not throw the wrappers and garbage all over when there are dustbins installed at regular intervals,” Ramakanth said.

“Owing to technical glitches, including network issues, the marshals could not enforce penalties,” he said.

(Published 16 August 2022, 19:31 IST)

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