Flower show at Lalbagh goes plastic free

Flower show at Lalbagh goes plastic free

The week-long Republic Day flower show, which concluded yesterday, was remarkably tidy

Thanks to a series of initiatives, Lalbagh has successfully become plastic-free this Republic Day flower show season.

Team Metrolife did a reality check at the sprawling garden, which received one lakh visitors from January 17 to January 24. The biggest crowds were seen on January 25 and 26. The security at each of the four gates strictly enforced the plastic bottle ban.

The bottles were collected and kept at the gates and visitors were allowed to take them back when they leave. We spotted a heap of plastic bottles at the gates.

Overall, Lalbagh scored pretty high on tidiness this year.

The number of drinking water stations went up from 13 last year to 27 this time. Modern water filters served visitors during the show.

Enhanced cleaning

“Sixty people were employed exclusively for cleaning throughout the day in two shifts,” says M Jagadeesh, joint director of horticulture.

Groups like Saahas and Beautiful Bengaluru and Bosch’s CSR unit lent a helping hand in keeping the garden tidy. Bosch contributed 200 dustbins, making it a total of 350 dustbins in Lalbagh.

“Sensitivity and training programmes were conducted for the cleaning staff and gardeners,” says Jagadeesh.

At the stalls

A lot of plastic litter used to be seen at stalls with them plastic water bottles and snacks packed with plastic packaging.

“We made note of that well in advance and took precautionary steps,” Jagadeesh says.

The horticulture department had collected Rs 5,000 as ‘security deposit’ from the food stalls.

A team went on periodic inspections to check if any plastic-related rules were broken.

This time, fruit juices were served in paper cups; cardboard boxes served as dustbins at each of the stalls.

Paper waste

Despite such measures, some visitors did litter the lawns with paper wraps and plates after they were done with their churmuri and fruit salads.

Staff stationed at various spots picked up the litter and discarded them in the bins. But public sensitivity needs to get better: a visitor had left a baby diaper near the band stand behind the Glass House.

Pollution-free

All vehicles, including those of horticulture department staff, were banned inside Lalbagh this time.

“Officials were requested to park at their designated spots,” Jagadeesh says.

Four more eco-friendly vehicles were added to the fleet inside Lalbagh for the use of officials and visitors. Lalbagh has about 70 cycles, some that run on battery, for use inside. The traffic police used microphones to ensure smooth vehicular movement at the gates.

Where to park

The five-acre parking area within Lalbagh is not meant for visitors. It is reserved for school buses, vehicles for the differently abled, and ambulances. Visitors parking was at four designated areas outside Lalbagh.

Shanthinagar bus terminus parking

Al Ameen College premises

Hopcoms premises near Double Road gate

JC Road multi-storeyed parking