Home to several unique species of flora, the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens is one of the few lung spaces in the heart of the city. Thousands of people flock there every morning for their daily dose of fresh air to begin the day on a healthy note. Deccan Herald and Prajavani conducted a survey among a cross-section of walkers and joggers at Lalbagh last week, recognising their problems. In their reply, walkers listed their problems and sought immediate action.
Of the 120-plus walkers and joggers interviewed, 94 complained about the garbage, especially whenever mega-events like flower show or training programmes are held. “Even on normal days, heaps of garbage including leftover eatables, carry bags and juice bottles are seen all over the park.
Sometimes, dustbins are overflowing but the staff don’t clear them,” revealed Manjunath, a walker and a resident of N R Colony. Several senior citizens and women are worried about the lack of emergency medical facilities. In all, 61 people complained about the absence of emergency healthcare at the park. “At least during morning and evening hours, one ambulance must be stationed at each gate.
Maybe an emergency centre with CPR facility will help,” opined Janardhan, a walker from Sudhamanagar. About 60% of the people complained about lack of potable water points. “The department has banned water bottles in the park. Many of the existing water points go dry in the morning and are unhygienic. Officials must set up water dispensing points wherever walkers sit or stop briefly,” Imran Pasha, a walker from Siddapur said. Walkers also complained about the lack of toilets, especially for women. “The existing toilets are in a remote corner. Sometimes, children and men urinate in the open. More security personnel need to be deployed to curb this problem,” Sudha, a walker from Wilson Garden said.
Many joggers and walkers complained about pushcarts selling eatables spoiling the landscape. “The geological monument, where the Kempegowda tower is located, is littered with eatables and food wrappers. Vendors have illegally parked their carts on top of the hillock. Why haven’t the officials cleared them? Also, four and two-wheelers roam all over the park. If officials are permitted to travel, they must stick to a particular route,” Paras Jain, a jogger from VV Puram said.