Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lalbagh is wilting, but the government plays Nero

Lalbagh is wilting, but the government plays Nero

A rock garden and laser show will come up in the midst of a water crisis

Odeal D'Souza. Bangalore

The horticulture department is chalking out huge plans for Lalbagh Botanical Garden. A laser show depicting the growth of Bangalore from a non-descript Bendakaluru to tomorrow's Bengaluru and a rock garden are on the cards. But the department has remained indifferent to conserving the primary wealth of the park: its rich flora.
The department officially puts up a contented face. "There is no water problem in Lalbagh. There is enough supply from the sewage tanks which provide recycled water. Our requirement is about 1.5 million litres per day (MLD) and it is being met," N Jayaram, director, horticulture department, said.
But the horticulture department staff has a different story to tell. Last month's water scarcity at Lalbagh was unprecedented, the staff claimed.
A garden supervisor told DNA on the condition of anonymity that in March, hundreds of saplings wilted as there was just not enough water available to meet their needs.
He said there were at least 800 species of plants that needed daily watering and the water from sewage water treatment plants was just not enough.
However, the department higher-ups are oblivious to the parched reality on the ground. The rock garden, set to be built at a cost of Rs40 crore, will feature a musical fountain and employ coloured water.
"Water features are an ideal focal point in any rock garden. They enhance the naturalistic feel and add another element of interest. Rock garden plants can be tucked along water's edge as well as along the slopes and niches created in the construction of the water features," horticulture department officials said.
The laser show and the rock garden had been proposed to provide entertainment to children and elders, besides adding to the tourist potential of the park, the officials said.

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