Friday, November 06, 2009

Lax vigilance on plastic at Lalbagh

Lax vigilance on plastic at Lalbagh

A little girl reaches for the flowers on a Tabebuia Impetiginosa tree in full bloom at the Cubbon Park in Bangalore on Thursday.

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 06 Nov 2009 04:35:00 AM IST
BANGALORE: It’s been seven years since the ban on plastics was imposed in Lalbagh and a fine of Rs 100 was to be collected from those found violating the rule.
But in reality the botanical garden is strewn with plastic bags and cups, while fines are just much ado about nothing. The Karnataka Pollution Board had authorised the director of horticulture to fine violators in 2002. But it was only in 2007 that strict imposition of the fine came in force.
“Initially, we were more focused on educating the public and it was only in 2007 that fines were imposed on the violators,” said M Jagadeesh, deputy director of Lalbagh.
A fine amount of Rs 80,000 was collected in 2007 and 2008, whereas for 2009, till September, Rs 32,000 has been collected, Jagadeesh said. For spreading awareness, initially, the horticulture department used to issue warnings on microphones, while guards and supervisory officials were entrusted with the job of fining the violators, he said.
The guards, when quizzed about the fine collection part, said that they were not aware of any fine being collected for bringing plastic into the park, at least in the last three months.
Lalbagh is a no plastic zone, and the security guards at the gates are to stop visitors from bringing in thin plastic bags. Even this rule is not being implemented.
Though there are signboards that announce the ban on plastics and the fine on the violators, no visitor pays heed to it. Plastic bags and cups are found strewn across the park, a menace, which according to an environmentalist has to be curbed as “these plastic cups take 50 to 80 years to disintegrate.” But as Jagadeesh points out, “It is the general public who have to be more responsible in making such initiatives successful or else all measures would just fall flat.”


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