Saturday, May 29, 2010

Greens, historians say no to Lalbagh’s facelift

Greens, historians say no to Lalbagh’s facelift
Bangalore, May 28:

The proposed make-over of Lalbagh has invited criticism from different sections of society.

Environmentalists, historians have come forward to express their strong opposition to any development in the park which affects life of flora and fauna in the park
Environmentalist and retired secretary of Forest Department A N Yellappa Reddy said Lalbagh is not a place meant for fun. Let those want to have fun go to pubs or clubs in the city. No human being has right to disturb serenity in the park. “The department has to put excess lights during laser shows. Butterflies will be attracted to light and lose life.

Why do you disturb their life?” he questioned.

For many plants evening is the best time for pollination. If the government conducts laser show or musical fountain during that time, plant life is affected. Temperature and light have direct impact on blossoming of a flower and its fragrance. Any projects altering light and temperature of the area will not generate hormones necessary for biological activities. Lalbagh is a place of nocturnal birds, which go for hunt in the night. How could they go for hunting in an area filled with noise of laser show and musical fountain, he questioned.

Reddy said Lalbagh is meant for life. The people who lack eco-centric approach in their administration are spending money to kill life in the gardens. “It is the serene place left for Bangaloreans. The government should safeguard it for generations to come”, he said.

Dr Choodamani Nandagopal, Historian and UNESCO Fellow has said that Lalbagh is not just a garden to make it an amusement place. The concerns of the officials from GSI on Lalbagh is genuine.

She said that Lalbagh has the potential of getting recognised as World Environmental Heritage Site by Unesco because of the rocks and its heritage of 250 years. If we make this a commercial venture we will loose the grace of applying for this status. Lalbagh can be only one such world heritage garden. Instead of spoiling let us work towards getting recognition from Unesco. Once it comes under the UNESCO itenary the status of Bangalore and India elevates to greatest height.

Another interesting project could be the world class publication on Lalbagh with the botanical paintings professionally created by an artist Cheluviah Raju almost 100 years ago. The 700 paintings are very well preserved, thanks to the Horticultural Department and Library, Choodamani said.

She further point out that about 100 paintings of Cheluviah Raju were sent to Kew Garden, London by the then British Officer Cameron who commissioned the artist for documenting the various species of plants brought to Lalbagh from different countries.

These paintings were sent to London for publication. But due to lack of resources to publish they have been returned and preserved safely in Lalbagh. Since then several attempts were made to publish but have not seen the light till today. If these paintings were in Kew Garden instead of sending to Bangalore they would have seen the light long back. The dream of the artist Cheluviah Raju, Cameron, Dr Mari Gowda and the team who worked for last four years (including me) is unfulfilled.

S Sridhar, publisher of Newsletter for Birdwatchers, termed the proposed move as disastrous. Natural condition is ideal for birds and animals to be active and breed. If serenity of Lalbagh is disturbed many species lose life. The park is a place for many rare birds. It is one place where one can spend time watching trees and birds. There are many places in the outskirts of the city for fun or amusement. The administration should be looking at providing quality education for the needy rather than entertaining the urban populace, he said.

What citizens say...

Retain lung space

Lalbagh should remain a lung space forever. Being a Bangalorean by birth, I have observed how Bangalore has turned from a green valley to a concrete and plastic zone.

Let the authorities not take work which is harmful to the environment.

Ramesh, Rajajinagar

Money at any cost

If Singapore has Sentosa, Bangalore has Lalbagh and Cubbon Park. I don't see why we have to turn everything we have into something that imitates Singapore or the West.

Why cant we keep what we have well maintained and be proud of it? It looks that the government wants to make money at any cost, be it through amusement park fees, laser show fees or food court rents.

R Prabha, Malleswaram

Don’t abuse

I recently visited Lalbagh and was glad to see that it is still green and has not been turned into a commercial venture. Like many Bangaloreans, I too prefer it to be maintained as a clean good green gardens. Please do not abuse it by trying to convert it into anything else.

Shashidhar, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune

Vested interest

Please do not permit any amusement activities, which will be an extravagant nonsense. It will do no good. Find out who is proposing this monstrosity?

Smita Shah

Don’t ape Singapore

Turning Lalbagh into an amusement park is nothing but a senseless plan. It will lose its charm, beauty, song of birds, biodiversity, peace and also historical importance. It is still a lung space despite not being maintained satisfactorily.

If the government wants to ape Singapore, let it provide good infrastructure, check throwing garbage, urinating and spitting on the roads.

Brinda N Rao

No brains

Lalbagh does not need any civil work and felling trees is nothing short of sacrilege. The focus should be on ecology and green, not architecture.

The geometrical monstrosity near the west gate that was constructed a few years ago is a case in point. The decision-makers do not seem to use their brains. Rather than promoting a food court, eatables should be banned in the gardens. What is needed is just clean drinking water and banning of vehicles entry.

Sridhar Deshmukh,
Basavanagudi

No fun

We don’t want an amusement park. Let Lalbagh remain as is.

Anil Kumar

No parking

I am against providing a parking space in Lalbagh by destroying flora and fauna.This is just a gimmick playing by the government to swallow the money.

Amaresh N

Protect environment

The state government should protect its forests and environment first before they come up with grandiose plans to imitate what Singapore does.

If the government wants to have a rock garden, let it acquire the quarries next to Hulimavu lake and create another park there.

Jayadeep

No Beautification

I strongly oppose the ‘development’ plans of the horticulture department. Lalbagh being a botanical gardens, meant to conserve plant species. If any amusement is added then too many people visit causing huge parking problem. Birds and insects will be disturbed.

There is no shortage of amusement centres in the City. There are many malls. Then why turn Lalbagh into an amusement centre?

Sujay Acharya

Better sense

Many of us have watched sadly and helplessly the destruction of Bangalore’s environment in the name of progress. We need to get citizens closer to nature and amusement parks are not the way to do it. Can we hope that better sense will prevail?

Bharathi Prabhu
Rajajinagar

Stop it

Lalbagh is a treasure. The rocks there are a million years old. The trees are hundred years old. Why do humans want to destroy this and create something that will at best be used for a few years? This is irresponsible and must stop.

Meena R

It’s perfect

Lalbagh gorgeous, natural space with plants and trees from many corners of the globe.

How can anyone expect to 'beautify' something that is already perfect? What can we do as citizens to make the government drop the intended projects? How can we give our support to the GSI to help them combat the 'uglification' of Lalbagh?

B S Domergue

Retain beauty

It will be a sad day for Bangloreans to see the Lalbagh getting converted into an amusement park. It will destroy the natural beauty which is supposed to be one of the fines one in the world. Commercialisation in any form with whatever motive will make the gardens lose its charm. Let the government have a musical fountain outside the City.
Every citizen in Bangalore should oppose the plan.

Ravindranathan P V
Vinayakanagar

Let it stay
I do oppose the conversion of Lalbagh into an amusement park. Please let it stay the way it has been for the last few decades.
Parvathi


What a shame!
Bangaloreans must hang their heads in shame for voting a Government that is arrogant enough to neglect its voters demands, be it the Tagore Underpass, the Military War Memorial, Metro through MG road or changing Lalbagh into an amusement park. The government should focus on providing shelter to the flood ravaged victims of North Karnataka, providing good educational and medical facilities in the under-developed areas.

Rajesh
Sharadamba Nagar


Maintain status quo

Lalbagh should remain as a lung space with rich flora and fauna. It is beautiful as it is. Let the government think of maintaining the rich heritage of botanical gardens in the Lalbagh.

Jayarathna G K

Dissent
I record my dissent regarding development of this beautiful botanical gardens into an amusement park

Dr Vallath Nandini

Leave it pollution free

Lalbagh should be retained as it is at any cost to be pollution free. On flower show days itself it is cumbersome even to enter Lalbagh. Adding amusement events will attract much more crowd.

The Sentosa island’s geography is entirely different from that of Lalbagh. Even at Sentosa the crowd is too much and difficult to maintain cleanliness inspite of Singapore being credited for it.

Venkatesh K R

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