Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lalbagh to be plastic-free

Lalbagh to be plastic-free

Staff Reporter

# `Green Police' to monitor the visitors
# Offenders to be fined from April 15

BANGALORE: Beware of discarding plastics inside the famed Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

For, the "Green Police" will be on their job tracking down the culprits polluting the greenery.

Come April 1, plastic items will not be allowed inside the garden following a drive launched by the Horticulture Department in association with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). Guards appointed by the board would be monitoring the visitors against the use of plastics inside the garden. KSPCB Chairman H.C. Sharatchandra said that the board had formed rules with regard to restrictions on the use of plastics in Lalbagh and Cubbon Park in 2002 itself, and that the rule would be enforced strictly from April 1.

He said, "We will create awareness about the rule during the first fortnight, and will start imposing fine on offenders from April 15." Starting from April 1, schoolchildren and NCC cadets would be clearing plastic items disposed of at Lalbagh, besides creating awareness on the ill effects of using plastics.

The range of fine varies between Rs. 50 and Rs. 500. Horticulture Director G.K. Vasanthkumar said, "Plastic items would be seized at the entrance and the visitors would be handed over a jute bag by charging Rs. 5. Fines would be imposed on those who manage to sneak them inside and pollute the environs." The problem had become acute as nearly 8,000 tourists visited the garden daily, besides around 5,000 walkers. On weekends or holidays, the number of tourists would go up to 30,000, and indiscriminate disposal of plastic items had become a problem. He said the department had 60 people for cleaning the garden and 20 security guards, each work in three shifts.

Nandi Hills

A similar drive will be launched in the Nandi Hills by the Horticulture Department and the KSPCB. There are plans to declare the 3,000-acre area as "Horticulture Heritage" area.


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