Change of guard at the Horticulture directorate in Lalbagh has put the department’s ambitious plan to make the sprawling botanical gardens a ‘Walkers’ Paradise’ on the back-burner.
The horticulture department had planned to enforce a complete ban on the movement of vehicles, including vehicles belonging to the horticulture department, inside the gardens. However, the project, despite support from the horticulture minister, has still remained on paper.
A complete ban on movement of vehicles inside the park was one of the demands put forward by walkers and joggers during ‘Janaspandana’— a citizen interaction programme organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani on November 26. Citizens wanted visitors and officials to walk or move around using a battery operated vehicle.
The move had the backing of both officials and Horticulture minister M C Managuli, who expressed his support for the use of buggies.
The previous director of horticulture, Y S Patil, had assured that the plan will be put in place in about one month with the purchase of buggies. However, even after a month, there is no sign of proposal seeing light of day. Officials
at the horticulture directorate revealed to DH that the project has stalled due to change of guard at the department level.
A few weeks ago, the state government transferred horticulture director YS Patil as Deputy Commissioner of Vijayapura and posted Dr M V Venkatesh as the director of the horticulture department.
“The new director has taken charge recently and is briefed about the pending projects. We will also brief him about the problems raised by public, walkers and joggers and soon a ban on vehicles will be ordered as suggested by the minister,” a senior official from Lalbagh said.
Meanwhile, the department has also hiked the entry fees to the gardens with effect from March 1. The entry and parking fee have been increased by Rs 5 to Rs 10 over and above the existing fee across various categories.