Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rs 29 crore facelift for Lalbagh

Rs 29 crore facelift for Lalbagh
Bangalore, May 25, DHNS:

The Horticulture department has planned to spend more on hard landscaping (non-organic parts) than the soft landscaping as part of the proposed Rs 29.30 crore rock garden project in Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

As much as Rs 17.05 crore is estimated to be spent towards cleaning, decorative wooden gate, dust bins, pathways, drinking water facilities, electrification, fencing and other facilities. For the actual rock garden work (also called soft landscaping), an estimated Rs 7.25 crore will be spent.

Deccan Herald is in possession of a provisional line estimate and project plan prepared by the department for the development of rock garden. Besides landscaping, a Rs 4 crore has been estimated as the office expenses and Rs 1 crore as the consultancy services.

Many gardens to come up

As part of the soft landscaping, the department has planned to develop a Zen garden, Cacti garden, Orchid garden, Topiary garden, Moss garden, Ornamental shrubs, Bonsai garden and lawns on the rock surface. The State Cabinet has already given green signal for the implementation of both the rock garden and musical fountain projects.

What has surprised one and all in the official circles is the cost estimated for each of these works. For instance, the cost of 30 dust bins has been estimated to be Rs 15 lakh (Rs 50,000 each). Similarly, Rs 1 crore for an irrigation system, Rs 15 lakh for site cleaning, Rs 25 lakh for a decorative wooden gate and so on and so forth.

When contacted, Horticulture Director N Jayaram, however, said the details are based on the indicative line estimate procured from authorised consultants which will be technically updated and validated prior to implementation.

On the musical fountain, he said the concrete pond for the fountain will be constructed without disturbing the rock. “We will ensure that our projects does not damage the monument. We will take the permission of the GSI for this purpose, if necessary,” he claimed.

Asked whether the pond will come up on the foot of the rock, he said the rock is spread across Lalbagh garden. “It is said the same rock extends till the City town hall. Our aim is to beautify the rock and not to damage it,” Jayaram asserted.

He further claimed that the department has no plans to cut any tree for these project. Instead, 50 different species of cacti, succulents and suited botanical species will be planted as part of the project. Constructions, if any, will be taken up on waste land, he said.

But, official sources said, some trees will have to be sacrificed for constructing the fountain. Though this fact has been discussed at the official level, it has not become part of any document as the detailed project report (DPR) is yet to be prepared.

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