Sunday, October 30, 2005

Rain damage minimal in Lalbagh

Rain damage minimal in Lalbagh
Deccan Herald

Only four trees fell this time, compared with 15 in the ’98 deluge. Fish too were contained in the lake thanks to the mesh around it.

The heavy downpour that Bangalore witnessed in the past five days may have wrecked havoc across the city and brought dozens of trees to the ground. But Lalbagh botanical gardens seems to have escaped relatively unscathed.

From a collection of more than 5,000 trees, only four of them fell due to the torrential rains. Of this, a 150-year-old Java Fig tree (Ficus Benzamina) that was uprooted on October 26 evening near the Lalbagh Main Gate was under the ‘loss’ category.

According to Deputy Director of Horticulture M Jagadeesh, the other three trees comprising of Blue Gulmohar (48-year-old), Ficus Elasticvgyha or rubber tree (58-year-old) and Cassia Javanica (65-year-old) had dozens of replicas in the premises.

“This year, has proved to be lucky for Lalbagh. In the heavy rains that lashed in 1998, we had lost more than 15 trees and the damage was more wide-spread,” he said.

Even the Lalbagh lake, that is filled to its brim, has mesh all around to prevent the fish from ending up in the drain. “On October 23, we were totally unprepared for the downpour. So a good number of fish were displaced.

However, the well-defined channels to Krumbigal Road and the mesh that were placed has helped in containing the problem,” he said. A sum of Rs 10,000 has been spent in clearing the trail of damage.

No joggers, visitors

But if the trail of destruction left behind by rains was limited, the dip in the joggers’ and visitors’ footfall was tremendous.

Horticultural Department Director G K Vasanth Kumar said a revenue-loss of Rs 25,000 on each day had occurred following the downpour.

“But we are thankful that people did not venture out in the rains as it could be dangerous,” said Vasanth Kumar.

Cubbon Park in mess

At the other end of the spectrum, Cubbon Park had the rain-ravaged stamp written all over it. Uncut grass, heaps of rubbish collected in corners and slushy areas marked the sprawling grounds.

Although the number of trees that were uprooted was not more than two, the weed growth resulting from heavy rains had increased considerably, said Vasanth Kumar.

Bramble and shrubs growing in all directions turning the landscape into a rather unappealing scene was another problem, he added.

Lalbagh may be closed

Plans are also on to shut the gates of Lalbagh to the public for a week, so that the officials would be able to take stock of the entire situation to bring back the gardens into perfect shape.

Even morning joggers and walkers will have to keep off from the gardens.


Post a Comment

<< Home