Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Policing will not help Lal Bagh

Policing will not help Lal Bagh
Tuesday April 29 2008 00:00 IST

Jyothi Raghuram
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BANGALORE: THE Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has identified heritage sites in the State and will rope in government and private agencies to preserve them, according to KSPCB chairman Sharath Chandra.

Over 20 such ‘candidate’ sites, including Badami, Aihole, Shimsha and Jog Falls need attention, and the Board will act as a nodal agency in initiating conservation efforts, he told Express.

The maiden programme in this direction was the 'Green Code' initiative launched at Lal Bagh last week.

In pursuance of the project, those found urinating or spitting in the garden or littering it would be penalised under the Karnataka Police Act (92), said Jija Hari Singh, DGP, Commandant General, Home Guards and Director of Civil Defence & Fire and Emergency Services, whose department is providing manpower for the year-long project, besides creating public awareness and participation.

The laws would be implemented soon after the state Assembly elections were over, in co-ordination with the KSPCB, the Department of Horticulture, and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Jija,who successfully implemented the 'Nurture Delhi' project a few years ago in the capital, said the Lal Bagh initiative was taken up to commemorate 40 years of the civil defence, and its personnel would educate the public on making it an anti-litter, plastic free zone.

A study conducted by the department showed that the greenery, Glass House, and the tranquility was what essentially attracted people to the garden. Respondents (46.5 per cent) felt Lal Bagh could be cleaner, while 40.2 per cent wanted provision of clean drinking water.

Only 17.6 per cent wanted it to be litter- free, and 15.4 per cent were interested in making it plastic-free. Some 69.6 per cent of respondents were willing to volunteer to keep the garden clean.

'Saahas,' an NGO working on social issues, which has set up a sorting station in Lal Bagh to segregate waste material, has been working to make the garden a plastic-free zone since three years, 'but implementation is lacking,' says Wilma Rodrigues, its founder member.

Public apathy is the worst culprit, and involving citizens is imperative to make such programmes a success, feels G Govardhan, trustee and administrator of Bangalore Environment Trust, and chairman, Swabhimaana, which are involved in the project.An average of about 12,000 people visit Lal Bagh every day, and on holidays it has 15,000 to 20,000 visitors.

On 240 acres of thick greenery, it is not policing that will really help. It can only be a deterrent.

It is a sense of social consciousness that can keep Lal Bagh clean on a permanent basis, says K Ramakrishnappa, Director of Horticulture.


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