Friday, May 28, 2010

‘Lalbagh for tree walks not for laser show’

‘Lalbagh for tree walks not for laser show’
Bangalore, May 27, DHNS:

Citizens are crying foul over the Government’s plans to ‘beautify’ Lalbagh. So also ornithologists and biodiversity experts.

The subject experts absolutely see no merit in meddling with the natural beauty of Lalbagh as they think the Government has the least concern for the rich flora and fauna of the gardens.

Zafar Futehally, well-known ornithologist and biodiversity expert, has taken serious exception for the new plans of the Horticulture Department. He is 90 and not keeping well. Despite his condition, he took pains to express his views so that the botanical garden will not be ‘upgraded’ the way it is planned now.

He said, “The proposed plans of the Government will affect vegetation, animals and the climate too. Lalbagh is meant for all living creatures, not just for human beings.” Biodiversity expert Harish Bhat termed the Government’s idea as ‘nonsense’. Lalbagh is a place for 130 bird species, most of which are nocturnal - active during night. It is a house of four varieties of owls - collared scops owl, barn owl, mottled owl and spotted owlets.

They go for hunt during night. “A laser show or a musical fountain in the evenings will disturb the life style of these birds”, he said. “Nowhere in Europe or the US, elements of fun are allowed in botanical gardens. Forget laser show, even vehicles should not be allowed inside the park. It should be treated as a sanctum sanctorum of bio-diversity.

Why not we cultivate habit of watching trees and birds? Many foreigners visit the park only to study the trees in the park. We should encourage tree walks in the garden to know trees better,” he said. Lalbagh should be a place for botanical tours, not laser shows, he added.

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