Thursday, May 27, 2010

Park will turn parking lot, scream B’loreans

Park will turn parking lot, scream B’loreans
P M Raghunandan, Bangalore, May 26, DHNS:

Musical fountain, food court for Lalbagh draws strong opposition

Already congested roads around Lalbagh is likely to get chocked if the Horticulture Department’s musical dancing fountain and the laser show plans are implemented inside the botanical gardens.

Consider this: Lalbagh presently has about four acre area (near east gate) reserved for parking, and it can accommodate a maximum of 600 four-wheelers and 1,000 two-wheelers at a time. Nearly 400 four-wheelers and an equal number of two-wheelers are parked on normal days. It is expected that the proposed laser show, musical fountain and rock garden would attract additional 5,000 visitors and tourists per day, which may require space for additional 1,000 four-wheelers. Then, there will hardly be any space for vehicle parking in the garden, official sources said.

Result: Most of the vehicles will have to be parked outside Lalbagh, as it happens during the annual flower shows. KH Road, Siddapura Road, Marigowda Road, Krumbigal Road and Lalbagh Road are already choking. Traffic police will have tough time ensuring traffic flow here.

Visitors

On an average 10,000 people visit Lalbagh on a normal day, including walkers and joggers. On holidays, the number goes up to 15,000. During flower shows, nearly one lakh people visit the garden. “The existing parking space is sufficient for a normal day. It is a big problem on holidays and during flower shows,” officials said.

Food court too

The Horticulture Department used to throw open 2.5 acre land near Siddapura gate (south gate) for parking whenever necessary, especially during the flower shows. Now, it has planned to develop an evergreen museum and a food court as part of Rs 84 crore Lalbagh development project, which was approved by the State cabinet recently.

Officials also said more visitors means more damage to the botanical garden. For instance, lawns, ornamental shrubs and flowers plants in the 240 acre garden gets trampled on holidays. Flower shows causes extensive damages. Besides, cleanliness becomes an issue. These will become an everyday problem once musical fountain and laser show are introduced, officials explained.

Horticulture Director N Jayaram, however, insisted that steps will be taken to regulate the vehicle entry and parking to protect the interest of the garden. But he did not elaborate the plan for vehicle parking.

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