Friday, July 30, 2004

Horticulture department pooh-poohs Mayor's idea

Mayor's Lalbagh fence idea is no hit with Horticulture Dept
Thursday July 29 2004 New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Lalbagh has been in the news again with Mayor P.R. Ramesh proposing to remove the high masonry walls and replacing it with a see-through fence half its height.

His contention is that the 240 acre lung space in Bangalore south is unnecessarily hidden from the public eye by the high-walled compound. A wire fence would make the green garden more visible, thus increasing its aesthetic appeal.

But the State Horticulture Department is seeing red over the proposal. Horticulture Director G.K. Vasanth Kumar told this website’s newspaper that such an idea just does not hold water.

''Lalbagh is a botanical garden, which houses thousands of rare species of plants and removing the existing wall would jeopardise their safety. Unlike a public park, Lalbagh is not meant to provide only recreation. It is similar to a bird sanctuary or a reserve forest area,'' he said.

The director said that the casual attitude of visitors had already cost the garden a lot of damage. ''Many indulge in disfiguring trees and even steal precious plants. If the wall is broken down and a fence put in its place, it would add to the problems,'' he added. ''On an average, 5000 walkers and visitors saunter around Lalbagh everyday and on holidays, the crowd swells. The fence idea is a personal opinion of the honourable Mayor and my department does not endorse it,'' Vasanth Kumar affirmed.

As for the controversy over continuing the biennial flower show, he said the flower exhibitions would be held as usual.


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